Gender Health Gap: New research reveals the UK still has the largest female health gap among G20 countries

The UK is still trailing behind other G20 countries including Germany, Canada, China and Saudi Arabia when it comes to women's health according to a new study
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New research has revealed that the UK still has the biggest gender health gap amongst G20 countries and the 12th largest globally. The UK is still trailing behind countries including Canada, France, Germany, Saudi Arabia and China with more than a quarter (27%) of women left feeling that the UK’s healthcare system favoured men over women.

According to the research from Benenden Health the health gap in the UK has remained stagnant, with nearly two thirds (60%) of women in the UK believing their health issues are not being taken seriously and more than a third (35%) feeing they have experienced poorer health outcomes because of their gender.

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More than half who stated they have experienced a poorer health outcome said they had had a negative experience with a healthcare professional (57%). Whilst a third revealed they had been given a late diagnosis (36%) and another third reported receiving an incorrect diagnosis (33%). Even more concerning, a quarter revealed that they had been put on the wrong medication at some point in their lifetime.

Speaking to NationalWorld, Mehar shared her experience of navigating care as a cardiac patient. She explained: "I am a cardiac patient and when I have 'different' chest pains, like anything out of the normal I go to A&E and get checked ASAP."

She continued: "I've noticed (barring one hospital), that when I go and they see my entire history I get asked to wait in urgent care not A&E. But, I've seen men come in complaining of chest pains and been sent straight to A&E. One time, I overheard and the man didn't have any health issues as risk factors and wasn't a cardiac patient."

In 2019 the British Heart Foundation echoed Mehar's concerns, stating that the heart attack gender gap is "costing women's lives."

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The gender health gap costs the global economy more than $1 trillion a year, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum, with the McKinsey Health Institute finding that women spend 25% longer than men dealing with poor health.

It is also having a huge impact on employment, with women taking an average of nine sick days a year. The research also uncovered that 42% of women are uncomfortable discussing their health issues at work and that 2 in 5 women have heard derogatory comments about a female employee’s health in the workplace.

Sarah McCann is a Trends Writer for NationalWorld who specialises in stories around TV, Film and Health. If you liked this article you can follow Sarah on X (Twitter) here. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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