Addressing the leading causes of death and disability for women in the UK
The George Institute for Global Health, Imperial College London Submission to the UK Government Women’s Health Strategy: Call for Evidence, June 2021
Four of the five leading causes of death for women in the UK are non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including dementia, acute coronary syndromes (ACS), cerebrovascular diseases (e.g. stroke) and chronic lower respiratory diseases (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, COPD).
We and others have shown that the way women and men develop and experience NCDs can differ significantly, including how they are managed within the health system.
However, as we and others have shown, recognition of these differences is not routinely reflected in policies, clinical guidelines or practice, nor in the training of those involved with the provision of healthcare, including in preventative care.
Furthermore, women continue to be under-represented as participants in research, including in clinical trials, and the disaggregation of analyses by sex and/or gender to reveal health patterns in women and men separately is not yet routine.
As a result, we and others have documented numerous examples where, compared to men, women are more likely to experience non-evidence-based treatments for NCDs and have worse health outcomes than would be expected if care was equitable between genders.
The Imperial College London submission is available here.