The life expectancy for women at the age 50 has improved significantly over the years. However the gap between poor and rich countries is growing, says the World Health Organization (WHO) report.
A WHO study found that in developed countries deaths from non-communicable diseases has fallen dramatically in recent decades, especially deaths from cancers of the stomach, colon, breast and cervix.
Women over 50 in low and middle-income countries are also living longer, but chronic ailments, including diabetes, kill them at an earlier age than their counterparts, it said.
“The gap in life expectancy between such women in rich and poor countries is growing,” said the WHO study, part of an issue of the WHO’s monthly bulletin devoted to women’s health.
Heart disease, stroke and cancer kill most women over 50, said Dr. John R. Beard, director of the W.H.O.’s department of aging. He said it’s time for the countries to focus on lowering blood pressure with inexpensive drugs and enhance treatment for cervical and breast cancer.
Such diseases can be easily prevented or treated, Dr Beard said while adding “Women should avoid smoking, excessive drinking and being obese as they are crucial for their life expectancy, he said.
According to the study, Japanese women live the longest on average. But women in most countries now live longer than they did 40 years ago as the treatment against infectious diseases like flu, tuberculosis and pneumonia has advanced.
The study was published in the Bulletin of the World Health Organization.