Latest Female Health Statistics
Life Expectancy, General Health And Survival Rates For Diseases

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Life Expectancy Of American Women

Recent Health Statistics

Contents

How Is Health Measured?
Female Life Expectancy Worldwide
Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?
Healthy Life Expectancy For Women Worldwide
Disability Free Life Expectancy
Top 10 Causes Of Death In American Women
Chance of Surviving Major Illnesses


 

How Is Health Measured?

There are 3 ways that staticians measure health, these are:

1. Life Expectancy: How many years you are likely to live.
2. Healthy Life Expectancy: Number of years you are likely to live before long-term ill health appears and reduces your quality of life. This is an important figure because, although you may live a long time, it's not much fun unless you are relatively healthy to enjoy it.
3. Disability Free Life Expectancy (DFLE): How long you are likely to live before disability reduces your quality of life (disability is considered the inability to do daily tasks like dress or feed yourself). This helps to determine what portion of those with ill health have a severely reduced quality of life. DFLE is a relatively new index introduced in Europe in response to a European wide survey (European Survey of Income and Living Conditions).

Female Life Expectancy Worldwide

This table shows the average life female expectancy in selected countries:

Country Life Expectancy in Years
Monaco
Japan
France
Italy
Spain
Australia
Canada
Switzerland
Sweden
Israel
Iceland
Luxembourg
Norway
Finland
Austria
Belgium
New Zealand
Greece
Ireland
Germany
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Malta
Portugal
Slovenia
Denmark
United States
Czech Republic
Argentina
Poland
Cuba
Slovakia
Russia
93.84 years
85.72
84.54
84.53
84.37
84.35
84.1
84.05
83.51
83.24
83.17
83.08
83.02
82.89
82.84
82.81
82.67
82.65
82.55
82.44
82.44
82.25
82.12
82.01
81.2
81.14
80.93 (ranked 53 in the world)
80.66
80.36
80.25
80.08
79.93
73.17

Why Do Women Live Longer Than Men?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), women on average live 6 to 8 years longer than men globally. The current record for the oldest person in the world is held by a woman who reached the grand old age of 122. Basically scientists still do not know why women live longer but there are many theories including:

1. Men have unhealthier lifestyles, they smoke more and eat more fatty foods than women - but this gap is narrowing and yet women continue to live longer.
2. Major illnesses like coronary heart disease (CHD), heart attacks and strokes are delayed in women - these problems usually affect women in their 70s and 80s and men in their 50s and 60s. It was initially thought that this difference was due to estrogen, but doctors are no longer sure. They now think it may have more to do with iron deficiency related to periods. Iron deficiency is more common in women because they lose blood every month in their fertile years by having periods; and it is thought that not having enough iron in your blood may actually prevent free radicals from damaging your cells. This may also be why not eating too much red meat can delay symptoms of CHD.
3. Genetics and female chromosomes may also play a role, but this area is complex and yet to be fully explored and understood.

Useful Information:
Recommended Health Screenings
List of screenings for diseases and conditions in women.
What is considered middle aged? What age middle age set in these days.
Development Of The Female Body: How your body changes over a lifetime.


Healthy Life Expectancy (HALE) For Women Worldwide

This table shows how many years you (as a woman) are likely to live before ill health affects your quality of life. When creating this index, participants are asked if they have suffered ill health within the past 12 months. Any persistent condition like arthritis, chronic pain, depression or mental illness is defined as 'ill-health' - or simply just feeling continually unwell is enough to qualify. Obviously the index also takes into account those women who are very ill or recovering from strokes, heart attacks and cancer. The HALE index as it is called, is a very useful reference. While people may be living longer, it's not really saying much if they are not well enough to enjoy it.

Until What Age On Average Will I Live In 'Full-Health'?

Ranking Country Age When Ill Health Kicks In
1
2
3
4
4
6
6
8
9
9
11
11
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
25
27
28
29
Japan
Switzerland
France
Australia
Sweden
Austria
Spain
Italy
Luxembourg
Finland
Germany
Norway
Iceland
Greece
Belgium
Canada
New Zealand
Netherlands
United Kingdom
Denmark
Ireland
Czech Republic
Portugal
United States
Poland
Slovakia
Hungary
Mexico
Turkey
75.8
74.4
73.5
73.2
73.2
73
73
72.9
72.5
72.5
72.2
72.2
72
71.9
71.8
71.6
71.5
71.1
70.9
70.8
70.4
69.5
69.4
68.8
66.6
66.6
65.5
65
61.1

What Is Interesting About These Statistics?

Despite spending the highest amount on healthcare per person worldwide, the United States still only ranks 24 on the healthy life expectancy index and 55 on the life expectancy index. Doctors and researchers blame this poor result on the rising rate of obesity in women along with the increasing amount of smokers and people who don't exercise. This not only raises the risk of death from, but also disability due to, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke and high blood pressure. Poverty is also an underlying factor because people who are poor tend to eat less healthy food and exercise less. Americans living in poverty-stricken cities like St. Louis and Baltimore tend to die below the average national rate. In contrast, wealthier Americans who live in areas like Washington, D.C. and San Francisco tend to live longer and have healthier lives - even outlasting the average Japanese and Swiss. This is primarily due to healthier lifestyle choices and eating habits.


Disability Free Life Expectancy

Disability free life expectancy (DFLE), also referred to as healthy life years, is the number of years you are likely to live free of physical disabilities. A disability is considered an inability to care for yourself: to wash, dress, eat or get in and out of bed; as well as manage your money, use the telephone or carry out light housework. This measure is primarily used in Europe, although the United States and other countries have similar indexes. In general after the age of 65 women live on average 9 years disability free (and 8.8 years for men).

How Long On Average Do People Live After 65 Before Becoming 'Disabled'?

Country Women Men
Sweden
Norway
Iceland
Denmark
United Kingdom
Luxembourg
Ireland
Netherlands
Belgium
Slovenia
France
Finland
Spain
Czech Republic
Austria
Poland
Italy
Greece
Germany
Hungary
Portugal
Estonia
Slovak
14.6 years
14
13.6
12
11.8
11.4
10.5
10.3
10.1
9.9
9.2
8.9
8.4
8.4
8
7.4
6.8
6.6
6.5
5.6
5.4
5.3
2.8
13.6 years
13.5
12.7
11.2
10.7
10.8
10.2
9.4
10.5
9.3
8.8
8.1
9.2
8
8.1
6.8
7.3
7.2
6.4
5.7
6.6
5.5
3.4

United States: According to the US Department of Health and Human Services women born in 2001-02 can expect to live 66.9 years free from activity limitation (63.6 years for men). Furthermore, one study showed that the medical cost of keeping a person disability-free for just one extra year above this average would cost about $71,000. There were few differences between gender and racial/ethnic groups.

Top 10 Causes Of Death In American Women

All American Women

Cause of Death % Of Deaths Extra Notes
Heart disease
Cancer
Stroke
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Alzheimer's disease
Unintentional injuries (accidents)
Diabetes
Influenza and pneumonia
Kidney disease
Septicemia
25 percent
22
6.7
5.5
4.3
3.6
2.9
2.3
2
1.6
Signs of a heart attack
Signs of cancer
Signs of stroke

Symptoms of Alzheimer's

Signs of diabetes

White American Women

Cause of Death % Of Deaths
Heart disease
Cancer
Stroke
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Alzheimer's disease
Unintentional injuries
Diabetes
Influenza and pneumonia
Kidney disease
Septicemia
25.2 percent
22.1
6.7
5.9
4.6
3.6
2.6
2.4
1.8
1.4

Black American Women

Cause of Death % Of Deaths
Heart disease
Cancer
Stroke
Diabetes
Kidney disease
Unintentional injuries
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Septicemia
Alzheimer's disease
Hypertension
25.2 percent
21.9
6.7
4.9
3.3
3
2.6
2.5
2.4
1.9

Hispanic American Women

Cause of Death % Of Deaths
Heart disease
Cancer
Stroke
Diabetes
Unintentional injuries
Alzheimer's disease
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Influenza and pneumonia
Kidney disease
Perinatal conditions
22.3 percent
22
6.3
5.4
4.8
2.8
2.7
2.3
2.2
2.2

Asian or Pacific Islander American Women

Cause of Death % Of Deaths
Heart disease
Cancer
Stroke
Diabetes
Unintentional injuries
Influenza and pneumonia
Chronic lower respiratory diseases
Alzheimer's disease
Kidney disease
Hypertension
27.2 percent
22.3
9.2
4.1
3.8
2.9
2.5
2.3
1.9
1.6

For more detail see: Leading causes of death in women.

Chance Of Surviving Major Illnesses

Cancer: Percentage of women who survive:
Breast Cancer: 88 percent, stage 1. More details, see breast cancer survival rates.
Endometrial Cancer: 88 percent, stage 1a, see also endometrial cancer survival rates.
Cervical Cancer: 93 percent, stage 1a, see cervical cancer survival rates.
Ovarian Cancer: 89 percent, stage 1, see ovarian cancer survival rates.
Vaginal Cancer: 84 percent, stage 1, see vaginal cancer survival rates.
Vulva Cancer: 93 percent, stage 1, see vulva cancer survival rate.
Fallopian Tube Cancer: 86 percent, stage 1, see, fallopian tube cancer survival rate.

Female heart attack survival rate:

38 percent of women will die within one year of a recognized heart attack, compared to 25 percent of men.

Female stroke survival rate:
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, 15 percent of people die from a stroke. 10 percent will recover completely, 25 percent will recover with a minor disability and 40 percent are left with a moderate to severe impairment and 10 percent will be so severely disabled that they require long-term care (see stroke recovery).

Heart Failure Outlook:What is the prognosis for heart failure?

Resources Used For This Article

OECD, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
WHO, World Health Organization.
CDC, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention.
The World Bank collection of development indicators.
The American Heart Association.

Other Useful Guides

Head And Facial Disorders: From headaches to depression, skin and eye conditions.
Abdominal Problems: Stomach pains, cramps, changing bowel habits. Check your symptoms.
Back Conditions: Upper and lower back pain, neck pains, check your symptoms.
How Menopause Affects The Body: Biological changes that occur in your body.
Hospital Departments Explained: How to get around a hospital.
Female Reproductive Disorders: Symptoms of conditions of the vulva, vagina and bladder.
Bone And Joint Problems: Check your symptoms for arm, legs, feet, hands and joint pain.
Chest Conditions In Women: Symptom-checker for chest pain.
Skin Care Questions: Dry, sensitive or combination. What skin type are you?
The Female Body: Where the main organs are and what they do.

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