A new approach is needed to improve the lives of women with chronic health conditions.
The Australian Women’s Health Network (AWHN) has released a position paper outlining recommendations to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions for women.
The paper Women and Non-Communicable Diseases (Chronic Conditions) examines the gender implications of diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and lung cancer, and highlights specific areas where women’s experience of chronic health is treated differently to men, and the areas where change is needed.
AWHN CEO Kelly Banister said:
“Chronic diseases are the number one cause of death and disablement for women and men globally. In Australia there is increased recognition that women and men experience those conditions differently”
“Research shows that women experience a higher burden from chronic disease and live more years of life with a disability from chronic disease than men.”
“Failure to act on gender differences in chronic disease prevention and treatment costs lives. It is no longer satisfactory for prevention and treatment guidelines to remain gender neutral.”
“The AWHN would like Australian governments to show leadership, along with peak health bodies to drive change in policy and research by understanding the ways gender affects chronic disease.”
The position paper outlines a number of key recommendations to improve the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic conditions for women including:
- Creation of guidelines for the equal inclusion of women in clinical trials
- Continued research in exploring the causes of the sex differences in chronic disease.
- Peak health bodies to move beyond gender neutral positions currently adopted.
- The Federal Government to ensure that peak health bodies develop gender sensitive guidelines.
- Federal, State and Territory Governments rewrite all current gender neutral policies so that they identify gender differences and what needs to happen for gender equity to be achieved.
- Provision of integrated women’s health services which are comprehensive, holistic and incorporate a life-span gender-sensitive approach.
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