Gender and non-communicable diseases

Gender influences the development and course of risk factors and conditions such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases and mental health problems. In high-income countries, 18% of women die from heart disease, often considered a disease of males. Globally, heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in high-income countries, and the second most importance cause in low- and middle-income countries.

In countries in the WHO European Region, where women’s life expectancy at birth ranges from 69.8 years to 84 years, cancer and diseases of the circulatory system (including heart disease) are the leading causes of death in older women.