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Relationship Between Gender And Health Pdf

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Metrics details. The importance of gender in understanding health practices and illness experiences is increasingly recognized, and key to this work is a better understanding of the application of gender relations. The influence of masculinities and femininities, and the interplay within and between them manifests within relations and interactions among couples, family members and peers to influence health behaviours and outcomes.

She is author of over scientific publications. She has specialised in psychiatry, psychotherapy and psychoanalysis, as well as in consultation and liaison psychiatry and in gerontopsychiatry. In , she was the first woman to be appointed to a full chair for psychiatry in a German-speaking country. Her research interests include schizophrenic psychoses, gender differences in mental disorders, and mental disorders in women. In the field of schizophrenic psychoses she has mainly worked on the onset and early detection of these disorders but also on late onset schizophrenia.

Gender Differences in Determinants and Consequences of Health and Illness

Research has found differences between women and men in some health indicators. These differences vary in terms of the type of health indicator used, the life cycle period analyzed, and even the country where research is conducted.

Generally, men have more life-threatening chronic diseases at younger ages, including coronary heart disease, as well as more externalizing mental health problems and substance use disorders. Women present higher rates of chronic debilitating conditions such as arthritis, frequent or severe headaches, gallbladder conditions, and also more internalizing mental problems such as affective and anxiety disorders.

Results of research on the differences between women and men in self-rated health have also highlighted the complexity of gender differences in health. Although several studies have shown that women have poorer self-rated health than men, this is not the case in all countries. Also, differences in self-rated health vary depending on other psychosocial and demographic variables. Gender Differences in Different Contexts. The existence of gender differences in health, and the reason for such differences, is a complex issue whose research and explanations are not bias-free.

Studies conducted in several countries have revealed differences between women and men in some health indicators. As proposed by Lahelma et al. Besides, women and men show a high intra-group variability, and there exist significant and complex, and not yet well-known, interactions between gender and other variables.

Currently are recognized the existence of social determinants of health and gender counts as an important determinant of health as it structures opportunities and vital risks [ 4 ]. Women and men not only differ in biology, they also differ in the roles and responsibilities that society assigns them [ 5 ].

We start by reviewing the major differences between women and men in physical health, beginning with life expectancy, and next we analyze the principal differences between women and men in morbidity.

Secondly, we treat main gender differences in mental health, an area which has traditionally posited that there are differences between women and men, including the question of comorbidity and gender differences in well-being will. After that, we review gender differences in self-rated health, a concept that has proved to be an important health indicator and a consistent predictor of mortality.

Finally, we analyze the factors that seem to be the most relevant ones for explaining differences in health between men and women. One of the most used health indicators of the population is life expectancy. Life expectancy indicates the average number of years an individual of a given population is expected live. Although life expectancy at birth has increased in all countries from , there are substantial regional and national variations as well as noticeable gender differences. In , the highest life expectancy was in Japan, with The existence of gender differences in life expectancy at birth has been acknowledged in all the regions and in all countries of the world.

Globally, female life expectancy at birth used to overtake male life expectancy at birth. In , global life expectancy at birth was estimated Given that the aging of population and the prominence of chronic diseases, a new indicator is proposed, which takes into account not only the number of years a person can expect to live—as with life expectancy at birth—but also the number of years in full health a newborn could be expected to live: It is healthy life expectancy.

If it could be measured reliably, healthy life expectancy would make an ideal indicator since it manages to include both mortality and the years the individual fails to live in full health, that is, morbidity or disability [ 7 ].

According to WHO estimates, healthy life expectancy for is estimated globally at On average, healthy life expectancy for both genders is The main contributors to the loss of healthy life are musculoskeletal disorders namely back and neck pain , mental and substance use disorders, especially depression and anxiety disorders, as well as neurological disorders, vision and hearing loss and cardiovascular diseases and diabetes.

Because the prevalence of most of these diseases increases with age, the proportion of the life span spent with these health problems increases as life expectancy increases [ 7 ]. Although many countries still lack adequate death-registration capacity [ 7 ], it has been found that men have higher mortality rates than women at all ages [ 10 , 11 ], but in some countries, discrimination against girls makes infant mortality rates lower in boys than in girls [ 12 ].

Differences between women and men are also found when analyzing the causes of death by age. A study carried out by the United Nations [ 13 ] in countries proves that women and men die of different causes.

Study also reveals that although during adolescence and young adulthood mortality rates are low, in developing regions, many adolescent girls and young women die of further complications linked to pregnancy and childbirth as well as sexually transmitted infections, particularly HIV. On the contrary, in these developmental stages, the most common causes of death among men—in either developed countries and developing regions—are road injuries, interpersonal violence, and suicide.

Although in developed regions injuries are also a leading cause of death among young women, rates are much lower than those for young men. At older ages, the most common non-communicable diseases causes of death are cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and diabetes, as well as mental disorders, especially dementia, which is more common in women because of their greater longevity [ 13 ].

Studies on gender differences in physical morbidity have been less consistent than the differences in mortality [ 14 , 15 ]. It has been found that these differences vary according to the type of disease and analyzed life-cycle period. Although the leading causes of death diseases of the cardio circulatory system and cancer are the same for men and women, men show more life-threatening chronic diseases at younger ages, including coronary heart disease, stroke, cancer, emphysema, cirrhosis of the liver, kidney disease, and atherosclerosis; in contrast, women present higher rates of chronic debilitating disorders such as autoimmune diseases and rheumatologic disorders, as well as fewer life-threatening diseases such as anemia, thyroid problems, migraines, arthritis, gall bladder conditions, and eczema [ 9 ].

But, although research has pointed out differences between women and men in some health problems, such differences seem to be smaller than originally thought of. In a study conducted in the United States with a representative sample of adults, differences in seven out of 16 studied diseases have been found. Women and men are equally likely to report chronic back or neck problems, any other chronic pain excluding headaches , high blood pressure, asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, ulcer, epilepsy, cancer, and medically unexplained pain [ 16 ].

Women are significantly more likely than men to report chronic debilitating conditions, such as arthritis, frequent or severe headaches, seasonal allergies and removal of the gallbladder, while men had higher rates of some life-threatening conditions, including stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure. A study examining gender differences in health in persons aged 50 or more from 12 European countries and the United States revealed that differences depended on the health condition studied and occasionally on the country too.

Despite this, women from all the countries were more likely than men to report disabilities, non-lethal conditions including problems in daily functioning, depression, and arthritis, whereas men reported heart disease much more frequently [ 14 ]. However, although women would oftentimes report more difficulties than men to perform daily life activities, this was not the case in all countries. While in some of them it was more common for women than men to report hypertension, the differences proved statistically significant in just six of those countries.

Most countries presented no significant difference between men and women in diabetes and lung disease, nor did they observe any difference between men and women in stroke.

Disability scores were lower among Danish men and women aged 70—84, but women observed higher disability at an older age. Japanese men and those from the United States had similar levels of physical disability, but Japanese women were less disabled than women from the United States. Immediate memory and cognitive function analysis showed that there were no statistically significant differences between women and men. Cerebral stroke is a leading cause of death worldwide being the biggest cause of long-term disability in developed countries.

Epidemiological and experimental studies have revealed significant differences between women and men both in the incidence of stroke and in the amount of its resulting pathology, although such differences are also dependent upon the stage of life span [ 17 ].

Ethnic group could also be relevant in stroke rates, since several studies conducted in the United States with people aged 45—74 found differences in stroke rates depending on the ethnic group. Stroke rates provided no gender differences in white people aged between 45 and 54 this was the group scoring the lowest rates , but above this age, range rates were higher in men than in women [ 18 ].

The study of gender differences in health at the level to biomarkers and the association between these and health did not demonstrate any clear differential patterns between women and men. A prospective population study conducted in Russia with people aged 54 and over showed that women had worse indicators in obesity and waist circumference, while men tended to present higher prevalence of electrocardiographic abnormalities. There were no differences between men and women in the prevalence of immunological biomarkers, and mixed patterns were found for lipid profiles.

Obesity and waist circumference were related to lower physical functioning only in women, while alterations in the electrocardiogram were associated with greater likelihood of myocardial infarction and physical functioning and self-rated health only among men [ 19 ]. The female gonadal cycle has been ancestrally linked to instability and mutability, namely the moon cycle, and menstruation has been considered as impure, even as malignant, thus generating a series of discourses about women in relation to certain stages of their menstrual cycle, or to its definite cessation during menopause, which rendered women unbalanced or deranged [ 21 ].

Although such proposal was strongly criticized, even from within psychoanalysis, he has exerted a strong influence on traditional psychiatric and medical thinking. But several changes in what really constitutes mental illness together with epidemiological studies carried out in recent decades have definitely challenged such belief.

Currently, mental disorders include some other conditions that had not been taken into account before, namely substance abuse and personality disorders.

Population surveys and epidemiological studies carried out in different countries with adult population have shown that women have higher rates of affective and anxiety disorders than men, whereas men present higher rates of externalizing type and substance use disorder than women [ 24 — 29 ]. Specifically, it has been found that women show higher prevalence in major depressive disorder, dysthymia, generalized anxiety, panic disorder, social phobia, and specific phobia, while men show higher prevalence rates than women in antisocial personality disorder and alcohol, nicotine, marijuana, and other drugs dependence [ 24 , 25 ].

Although there is evidence that women and men differ in the rates of some mental disorders, gender differences in overall psychopathology rates are more controversial. The most prevalent month disorders in the population are those of anxiety class disorders, followed by mood disorders, impulse control, and substance use disorders. But prevalence differs from severity, and although anxiety disorders are the most common mental disorder, the proportion of serious cases is lower than in the case of other types of disorder [ 30 ].

Hill and Needham [ 20 ] claim that a direct test of gender differences in psychopathology would require a thorough and systematic analysis of gender differences across all mental health conditions known, which is not easy to carry out given the medicalization and proliferation of diagnostic categories, which change frequently. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM system considers men as the standard behavioral pattern, so women are more frequently diagnosed with pathologies.

Thus, assertiveness and independence are still considered important behaviors for mental health, whereas emotional expressiveness can be regarded a sign of problems [ 31 ].

Typical male behaviors such as assertiveness and autonomy are defined healthy and emphasized in the socialization of men; on the contrary, typically female behavior such as emotional expressiveness, which is promoted in female socialization, is presented as a sign of mental health problems.

Such association of ideas about female and male behavior determines a description of mental disorders that reinforces the idea that women are more likely diagnosed than men, even though such behaviors are not owing to any pathology. Feminism has consistently criticized how many of the psychiatric diagnoses are pervaded with dominant gender ideologies and have been used to regulate the problem behavior. Against the individualistic account of the DSM, they insist that psychological suffering is associated with social, economic, and political context.

In addition, they assert that ideological power operates through social institutions, including medicine and mental health systems [ 32 ]. There is evidence that many people have more than one mental disorder and that some of the disorders are associated one another. Comorbidity studies have shown the existence of a two-dimensional model of progression and overlap between problems of internalizing type and externalizing type [ 30 ].

Such model includes the most common mental disorders and excludes other forms of psychopathology such as schizophrenia; however, the model is invariant with respect to gender although men prove to have higher scores than women in the externalizing dimension and the women present higher scores than men in the internalizing dimension. Affective and anxiety disorders are included in internalizing dimension and can be divided into two subfactors: 1 distress, which includes major depressive disorder, dysthymic disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder and 2 fear, which includes disorders such as panic disorder, social phobia, and specific phobia.

The externalizing dimension includes disorders such as antisocial personality and the dependence of nicotine, alcohol dependence, marijuana dependence, and other drug dependence [ 25 ]. Studies that have examined gender differences in depressive symptoms have also found higher symptoms in women than in men [ 14 ], but gender gap varies in different countries. A research analyzing data from several studies and surveys with representative national samples made in Denmark, United States, and Japan with people aged 45 and older [ 11 ] rendered that, although the depression level tended to be higher in women than in men in almost all ages, differences tended to be very small and were not statistically significant in Japan, where men slightly experienced more depression than women aged between 75 and 84, although from 85 on women scored more depression than men.

Analysis of the trajectories of depression depending on age did not show the existence of specific patterns in women and men. Although we have analyzed under different headings the physical and mental health conditions, they are not independent categories because quite often mental and physical health problems are inter-related. For example, medical disorders associated with anxiety include rheumatoid arthritis, migraine, peptic ulcer, irritable bowel syndrome, coronary heart disease, hyperthyroidism, asthma, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder [ 34 ].

Such analysis revealed that comorbidity rates were high. It has been found that women present greater multimorbidity than men. Multimorbidity is a broad concept that refers to the cooccurrence in one person of two or more long-duration health problems [ 36 ] which can be either physical or mental, or physical and mental simultaneously.

It is a major problem in primary care since it increases with age and elevates the risk of premature death, hospitalization, disability, depression, and poorer quality of life see review in Violan et al. In a study recently published with a large national sample of Scottish patients of all ages, Agur et al. The biggest difference 6. Physical-mental comorbidity was more common in women, and physical multimorbidity was more common in men.

The largest differences between women and men were given when multimorbidity was physical and mental, although the magnitude of the differences depended on age. In men with multimorbidity, drugs misuse was the most common condition in the age group between 25 and 34, depression for men aged 35—44, and hypertension for men aged 45 and over.

Across all age groups depression, pain, irritable bowel syndrome, and thyroid disorders were more common in women than in men. Research on gender differences in health had included life expectancy and the presence of diseases and health problems as indices of health status, based on the medical model of health focused exclusively on illness and disease [ 38 ].

Gender and Health

This paper uses a framework developed for gender and tropical diseases for the analysis of non-communicable diseases and conditions in developing and industrialized countries. The framework illustrates that gender interacts with the social, economic and biological determinants and consequences of tropical diseases to create different health outcomes for males and females. Whereas the framework was previously limited to developing countries where tropical infectious diseases are more prevalent, the present paper demonstrates that gender has an important effect on the determinants and consequences of health and illness in industrialized countries as well. This paper reviews a large number of studies on the interaction between gender and the determinants and consequences of chronic diseases and shows how these interactions result in different approaches to prevention, treatment, and coping with illness. Specific examples of chronic diseases are discussed in each section with respect to both developing and industrialized countries. Simply put, sex refers to biological differences, whereas gender refers to social differences. In the last decade, a considerable amount of research has been conducted in the area of gender and health, including gender differences in vulnerability to, and the impact of, specific health conditions.


ADOLESCENT AND CHILD. HEALTH: THE GENDER TOOL OF THE EUROPEAN STRATEGY relationship with the women concerned The contributions of Concha planCalidadSNS/pdf/equidad/EncuestaNacionaSalud · Sexual/.


Health and Gender

Politics, simply understood as who gets what, when, and how, is self-evidently central to health policy and health equity outcomes. The material, ideational, and institutional interests and power of stakeholders will determine whose health is given salience and who influences those decisions. Gender, understood as the roles, behaviours, activities, and attributes that are expected, allowed, and valued in a woman or man in any given context in turn impacts the influence and interests of those stakeholders. The chapter begins by setting out the significant differences in the gendered distribution of health outcomes.

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4 Comments

Ambroise A. 22.05.2021 at 07:29

All Victorians are affected by gendered health inequalities.

Cilinia P. 26.05.2021 at 03:51

Research has found differences between women and men in some health indicators.

Kristin W. 26.05.2021 at 04:02

The term gender refers to the economic, social and cultural attributes and opportunities associated with being male or female.

Marthe H. 26.05.2021 at 15:20

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