Contrary to what some may still believe, females and males have distinctly different health care needs and challenges. This is not limited to reproductive differences between the two sexes. For instance:
- Women are more susceptible to the carcinogenic effect of tobacco, and, as such, lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among them.
- Women are two to seven times more likely to develop an autoimmune disea se. Lupus affects nine times as many women as men.
- Women wake sooner from anaesthesia, experience more nausea and respond to pain medications differently than men.
- Women with cardiovascular disease are more likely to be misdiagnosed upon their first or second assessment than men.
- Women between ages 20 and 60 are three times more likely to develop gallstones than men.
- Eighty percent of hip fractures occur in women–in other words, women are four times more likely to suffer one than men.
- Women are at much higher risk to develop osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.
- Women are prone to different types of knee injuries than men.
- Women are two to three times more likely to suffer from depression.
- Women are twice as likely as men to have a sleeping disorder.
Thankfully, in recent years, the consideration of women’s studies apart from only reproductive and hormonal issues has increased among both laypeople and medical professionals. Assumption that women’s non-reproductive health is the same as men’s can lead to misdiagnoses, incorrect diet, promulgation of disease, and inferior quality of life.The two sexes must be considered differently by laypersons and medical professionals alike for best results.
Meeting the needs of the female patient. SP News, May 2011