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What’s in news?

Recently, The World Health Organization (WHO) released the “World Health Statistics Overview 2019”.

Key data’s: 

  • The World Health Statistics 2019 has been published by World Health Organization to coincide with World Health Day on 7 April.
  • It summarizes recent trends and levels in life expectancy and causes of death, and reports on the health and health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and associated targets.
  • The report this year focuses on primary health care as the foundation of universal health coverage. For the first time, this year, WHO’s Global Health Statistics have been disaggregated by sex.

Key findings of report:


  • Between 2000 and 2016, global life-expectancy at birth increased by 5.5 years, from 66.5 to 72.0 years.
  • Healthy life expectancy at birth – the number of years one can expect to live in full health- increased from 58.5 years in 2000 to 63.3 years in 2016.
  • Based on their statistics, a boy born in 2019 will live for 69.8 years on average and a girl for 74.2 years.
  • Life expectancy remains strongly affected by income. In low-income countries, life expectancy is 18.1 years lower than in high-income countries.

Men and women comparison: 

  • Women outlive men everywhere in the world – particularly in wealthy countries. The reasons are some biological, some influenced by environmental and societal factors, and some impacted by availability of and uptake of health services.
  • Women can access health services, maternal deaths decrease and lengthening women’s life expectancy.
  • Global suicide mortality rates were 75% higher in men than in women in 2016.
  • Where men and women face the same disease, men often seek health care less than women.
  • Men are much more likely to die from preventable and treatable non-communicable diseases and road traffic accidents.

Possible reasons:

  • A number of different causes that contribute to gender differences in mortality rather than any single reasons.
  • Heart disease, road injuries, and lung cancers are the top three causes of death contributing to higher mortality in males.
  • Road injuries were responsible for a reduction in life expectancy by 0.47 years in men compared to women.
  • According to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), roughly 16.1 million individuals in the USA suffer from alcohol use disorder.  There is a 2:1 ratio for men compared to women, with 9.8 million men and 5.3 million women affected in the USA.
  • Interpersonal violence: In this, men are four times more likely to die from murder than women. Here, women are more likely to be victims while about every fifth murder is committed by the partner or a family member of the victim.
  • Street Crime:g., gang-related violence, men are much more likely to kill other men.
  • Self-Harm: Sex differences leads to a kind of mortality called self-harm. Overall, the rate of men dying from suicide was 1.75 higher than that of women. While women have more suicidal thoughts and try to commit suicide more often than men, men are actually killing themselves more often than women.

Other possible reasons:

  • The report attributes the discrepancy between men and women to differing attitudes to healthcare between them.
  • g. in countries with generalised HIV epidemics, men are less likely than women to take an HIV test. Hence men are less likely to access antiretroviral therapy and more likely to die of AIDS-related illnesses than women.
  • The same principle applies for tuberculosis sufferers, with male patients less likely to seek care than women.
  • So men are much more likely to die from preventable and treatable non-communicable diseases.

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