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Top health threats to women

Fewer girls than boys are born every year in the UK. Even so females account for slightly over half of the population.

It’s because women live longer and tend to be healthier.

Life expectancy at birth in the UK has reached its highest level on record for both males and females.

A newborn baby girl can now expect to live up to 83.2 years whereas a baby boy can expect to live for 79.5 years.

Women visit the doctor more regularly

The reasons women outlive men aren’t fully understood. There are many theories but nothing definitive. Women are more likely to go and see their doctor if they’re unwell. A 2012 study by the National Pharmacy Association found that women were much more likely than men to take advantage of primary care health services, including GPs and pharmacies. Women visit their GP around six times a year compared to four times for men.

Even though women do have a slight edge over men in the health stakes, it pays to take note of the risks. The top threats to women’s health aren't secrets - they're known, common and often preventable. So what are the top health threats to women and how can they be avoided?

Top causes of death for women in England and Wales

The leading causes of death in 2015 in England and Wales for women were:

  • Dementia and Alzheimer's disease (15.2%)
  • Heart disease (8.8%)
  • Cerebrovascular diseases, including stroke (7.5%)
  • Flu and pneumonia (6.1%)
  • Lower respiratory diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (6%)


There are many other ways women die earlier, from suicide to car accidents.

Main risks contributing to death in women

Statistics also suggest that sticking to recommended safe alcohol limits, getting enough sleep and avoiding stress could help women live longer.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on February 24, 2017

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