Wednesday February 26, 2020

Women Live on Average 4.4 Years Longer than Men. Why?

Samira Asma is WHO assistant director general for data, analytics and delivery. She says men die earlier than women because they do not take as good care of their health as women

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Women participate in a fitness class lead by Kira Stokes, right, at NYSC Lab in New York, May 11, 2017. VOA

New data finds women everywhere live on average 4.4 years longer than men because they see the doctor more frequently and generally take better care of their health.

While women outlive men around the world, the World Health Organization’s Statistics Overview 2019 says their life expectancy is sharply reduced because of maternal deaths. It says this highlights the big health gap that still exists between rich and poor countries.

The World Health Organization reports one in 41 women die from maternal causes in poor countries where access to health services are scarce. This compared with one in 3,300 maternal deaths in rich countries.

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Men are more likely to die from preventable and treatable noncommunicable diseases and road traffic accidents. VOA

Samira Asma is WHO assistant director general for data, analytics and delivery. She says men die earlier than women because they do not take as good care of their health as women. Also, they tend to be exposed to greater risks.

“In many circumstances, men use health care less than women. They are less likely to seek care and to continue care once diagnosed of a certain condition. And also, men are more likely to die from preventable and treatable noncommunicable diseases and road traffic accidents,” says Asma.

Leading causes of death 

Of the 40 leading causes of death, the report says men have higher death rates than women from 33 of the risk factors. For example, the report says men smoke and drink alcohol much more than women. It finds global suicide mortality rates are 75 percent higher in men than in women.

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Jameson Florence, left, and Mark Jablonski as they smoke La Traviata cigars outside the Rain City Cigar shop in Seattle. VOA

Asma says noncommunicable diseases are on the rise in most of the low- and middle-income countries, especially in Africa. She tells VOA this is due to the emergence of risk factors such as tobacco use, increase in alcohol consumption and unhealthy diets.

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“In terms of leading causes of noncommunicable disease-related deaths, are cardiovascular and ischemic heart disease. And hypertension. Though it is preventable and treatable, a risk factor is not being addressed,” she said.

Asma says statistics on NCD-related deaths underscore the need to prioritize primary health care. She says people in these facilities can receive the medicine and treatment they need for their ailments. She notes that people who seek primary health care are made aware of the risk factors that can cause premature deaths. (VOA)

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Here’s How Dairy Milk Consumption Can Lead to Breast Cancer

Dairy milk intake may up breast cancer risk

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Moderate amounts of dairy milk consumption can increase women's risk of breast cancer -- up to 80 per cent depending on the amount consumed. Pixabay

Researchers have found that even relatively moderate amounts of dairy milk consumption can increase women’s risk of breast cancer — up to 80 per cent depending on the amount consumed.

“Fairly strong evidence that either dairy milk or some other factor closely related to drinking dairy milk is a cause of breast cancer in women,” said study first author Gary E. Fraser from Loma Linda University in the US. “Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30 per cent,” Fraser said.

By drinking up to one cup per day, the associated risk went up to 50 per cent, and for those drinking two to three cups per day, the risk increased further to 70 per cent to 80 per cent, the researchers said. For the findings, published in the International Journal of Epidemiology, dietary intakes of nearly 53,000 North American women were evaluated for the study, all of whom were initially free of cancer and were followed for nearly eight years.

Dietary intakes were estimated from food frequency questionnaires (FFQ), also repeated 24 hour recalls, and a baseline questionnaire had questions about demographics, family history of breast cancer, physical activity, alcohol consumption, hormonal and other medication use, breast cancer screening, and reproductive and gynecological history.

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Consuming as little as 1/4 to 1/3 cup of dairy milk per day was associated with an increased risk of breast cancer of 30 per cent. Pixabay

By the end of the study period, there were 1,057 new breast cancer cases during follow-up. No clear associations were found between soy products and breast cancer, independent of dairy. But, when compared to low or no milk consumption, higher intakes of dairy calories and dairy milk were associated with greater risk of breast cancer, independent of soy intake, the study said.

The researchers noted that the results had minimal variation when comparing intake of full fat versus reduced or nonfat milks; there were no important associations noted with cheese and yogurt.

“However,” he said, “dairy foods, especially milk, were associated with increased risk, and the data predicted a marked reduction in risk associated with substituting soymilk for dairy milk.”

According to the researchers, possible reasons for these associations between breast cancer and dairy milk may be the sex hormone content of dairy milk, as the cows are of course lactating, and often about 75 per cent of the dairy herd is pregnant. Breast cancer in women is a hormone-responsive cancer.

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Further, intake of dairy and other animal proteins in some reports is also associated with higher blood levels of a hormone, insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which is thought to promote certain cancers. “Dairy does have some positive nutritional qualities, but these need to be balanced against other possible, less helpful effects,” Fraser concluded. (IANS)