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Public Health (21-01-2010)

Women´s Health in the European Union

Today, the European Commission published a report on women's health in the EU. The report is a snapshot of the health of women across the EU and in some countries of the European Economic Area. It includes chapters on demographic and socioeconomic trends, health issues, lifestyle and health care.
 
 
Some key findings are:
 
  • Breast cancer is still the most common form of cancer in women and the major cause of cancer-related death amongst women.
 
  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease are higher amongst women than men. Depression is also more prevalent in women and women attempt suicide twice as often as men.
 
  • Women are at a higher risk than men of developing osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis.
 
  • The International Diabetes Federation estimates a 16% rise in Diabetes between 2007 and 2025, with highest increases in women.
 
  • In younger age groups, more young women than men are likely to take up smoking.
 
  • Harmful consumption of alcohol carries specific risks for women such as fertility problems and prenatal harm in pregnant women.
 
 
A key conclusion of the report is that despite much work in recent years, not enough reliable and relevant data is available by gender. This leads to the recommendation to implement standardised gender-specific data collection in future across the EU.
 
Link to the report: http://ec.europa.eu/health/population_groups/docs/women_report_en.pdf
 
This report was commissioned by the European Commission and carried out by the Faculty of Medecine Carl Gustav Carus, the Research Association Public Health Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, the Technische Iniversität Dresden, Germany. It is funded through the Public Health programme.
 
In spring 2011 the Commission plans to publish the first European Men's health report.