Smart Living: The health gender divide

Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 11:02 PM CDT
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ORLANDO, FLA. (Ivanhoe Newswire) - In almost every area in the world, women live longer than men. While this one fact alone might suggest that women are healthier, there are some medical conditions that are more likely to affect females.

In fact, researchers from Johnson and Johnson analyzed data from more than 1.3 million people and found that women were 22 percent more likely to develop long lasting symptoms from COVID.

If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to outlive the men in your life. But this gender gap in life expectancy doesn’t mean women aren’t at risk for certain health conditions. In fact, gender is the number one factor in which cancer you are more susceptible to get.

“Thyroid cancer happens more often in women,” states Young Kwang Chae, MD, Oncologist at the Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Medicine.

Thyroid and breast cancers are two of the few cancers women are diagnosed more often than men.

“Lung cancer is more common in men just because men smoke more often than women by statistics, but then, if you look at never smokers, the women are more prevalent,” Chae said.

Women are also twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety and depression. There are more than 80 autoimmune disorders and more than 75 percent of patients who have them are women. Irritable bowel syndrome is also more common in females and so are brain aneurysms.

“If you have mom and a sister with aneurysm, so two first degree relatives with an aneurysm, you just double your odds of having an aneurysm,” said Ricardo Hanel, M.D., Ph.D., neurosurgeon at the Baptist Stroke & Cerebrovascular Center.

Stroke is another condition impacting women more than men. While risk factors like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking and family history apply to everyone, women have some unique risk factors, including pregnancy, taking birth control pills, using hormone replacement therapy and having frequent migraines, which women are also more susceptible to.

Contributors to this news report include: Marsha Lewis, Producer; Roque Correa, Videographer and Editor.