In terms of physical (and sometimes mental) health, it is not possible for there to be equality between men and women. Depending on your gender assigned at birth, you may have certain health problems and avoid others. This has to do with the biology of each person. However, most health conditions affect both men and women, the only difference being the manner and level of severity.
In addition, there are diseases more common in certain sexes than in others, but doctors do not yet know all the details that determine this phenomenon. Health professionals report that they are due to complicated hormonal, physiological, and genetic influences.
Find out how gender affects the health of men and women, in order to prevent future conditions or care for a loved one who is more predisposed to certain health conditions.
The male gender in health
Men’s behavior often makes them more vulnerable, to the point of increasing their chances of getting injured and sick. Because of this, they are also at greater risk of injury and illness. Also, they tend to eat less healthily, so they tend to be overweight.
However, there are more factors that contribute to men’s risk for various diseases, including anatomy, hormones, and genes:
First, there are heart diseases. More than 39% of men older than 65 years suffer from heart disease, against around 27% of women also have a similar condition.
A woman’s body is generally pear-shaped, while a men is usually apple-shaped. In this way, when gaining weight, women increase sizes in the hips and thighs. Meanwhile, men increase around the waist. Thus, visceral fat is a risk factor for heart disease unrelated to many women.
Men do not have enough estrogen to protect themselves. Key factors in heart disease can be reduced through estrogen, which lowers cholesterol levels in women. The risk increases for women after menopause.
Parkinson. There is a 50% chance between men and women of this disabling neurological disease.
However, estrogen helps protect neurological function by activating proteins and interacting with free radical molecules. Compared to women, men have less estrogen to protect them in this regard. Studies have suggested a genetic link between Parkinson’s and the male X chromosome.
Men are more prone to suffer from:
- kidney stones
In addition, there are more men who simply refuse to see a health specialist, despite presenting health problems.
The female gender in health
The health risks for women are often discussed in relation to anatomy and hormones. The following are a few examples of this:
In the United States, more than 55,000 women each year have more strokes than men. Estrogen contributes to this statistic.
There is a lack of awareness among women about the impact of estrogen on stroke risk. Also, birth control pills, hormone replacement therapy, and pregnancy show increased risk, but there are people who are not even aware of this change in estrogen levels in these processes.
Clotting substances in the blood are affected by changes in estrogen levels, not by estrogen itself. When there is increased activity, clotting occurs more frequently and results in a higher risk of stroke.
Osteoporosis. Of the 10 million Americans with osteoporosis, 80% are women. There are fewer bone cells in women’s bones when they are born and their bones are thinner and smaller. Estrogen can prevent a substance from destroying bone cells for most of their lives.
However, at menopause, women lose bone mass and this causes estrogen levels to drop. Nearly half of the women over the age of 50 with osteoporosis break a bone.
The following risks are more common among women:
- urinary tract problems
- Multiple sclerosis
The differences still between equality
This disease affects men and women equally, however, it is more likely to cause heart disease in women than in men, despite the fact that almost the same number of men and women suffer from it.
The women had a lower risk of diabetes at the beginning. Furthermore, adding diabetes to the risk of heart disease for women essentially puts them on the same level as men when it comes to heart disease.
The suicide rate among men is higher, but the rate of depression is higher among women.
This may be more about how we define and diagnose depression. A depression questionnaire could identify more male individuals at risk if questions on anger, substance abuse, and risk behaviors are added.
There is no gender difference in health prevention
Leading a healthy lifestyle is essential to take care of yourself regardless of gender.
It never hurts to follow the suggestions of a health professional: Eat a healthy diet, exercise, and not smoke. Add 15 minutes of walking a day or eat more fruits and vegetables. This could make a big difference.
In addition to addressing the issues that make you most vulnerable, it’s imperative to stay active. Know your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels, your blood sugar levels, and your body mass index. It is also important that your doctor knows the family history to cover genetic diseases.
It is known that women go to the doctor more often than men. It is necessary that they come to ensure good health care.
It is evident that female bodies are different from male ones. Every cell in the human body has a sexual component. Therefore, diseases, medications, and medical devices used to treat them may be experienced differently by women and men.
Despite this knowledge, one-size-fits-all approaches are still followed for the prevention, management, and treatment of many health conditions.
Among the different diseases that affect men and women is heart disease. Women are less likely to experience classic heart attack symptoms than men. Consequently, women often experience late or misdiagnosed diagnoses with traditional procedures. Also, a woman is more likely to develop heart disease, since she is diagnosed with the disease ten years later. Cardiovascular conditions (heart attacks, and strokes, among others) affect men and women differently.
Since the National Institutes of Health included women in clinical research in 1986, sex differences in health began to be considered. In this way, the researchers were able to study the different effects of drugs, procedures, and diseases in women and men.
The FDA introduced the “Demographic Rule”
This helps to demonstrate to manufacturers how their drug is safe and effective for different ages, races, and genders before it is approved.
The incorporation of the female body into clinical research has translated into new advances for women. In 2010, the FDA approved a smaller left ventricular assist device for patients with severe heart failure who are not candidates for heart transplantation. Sizing seeks to accommodate differences in sex and gender assigned at birth, allowing more women to receive this life-saving treatment.
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