A new multiyear, global survey of women’s health shows that most women aren’t getting regular tests or screenings for cancer and other dangerous diseases that kill millions of people every year.
The 2020 inaugural Hologic Global Women’s Health Index listed several ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
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On average 33% of women across the 116 countries and territories surveyed said they had been tested in the past 12 months for high blood pressure.
Fewer than 19% of women reported being tested for diabetes in the past year, though it is the sixth-leading cause of death for women.
Breast cancer ranked around eighth among the leading causes of death for women across the world.
However, only 12% of women said they had been tested for any type of cancer in the past 12 months.
In approximately 40 countries, the numbers were in the single digits.
Although sexually transmitted diseases and infections are not leading causes of death, they can lead to an increased risk of cervical cancer for women.
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Only about 11% said they had been tested for either in the past year and fewer than one in 10 women in 56 countries and territories said they had.
While 88% of women said they believe checkups help improve people’s health, 40% haven’t seen a health care professional in the past 12 months.
About 1.5 billion women worldwide were not tested for any of the four most critical diseases in the past 12 months when asked in 2020, Hologic said on its website.
“Through this report, women are telling us what they need. We all need to listen. Then act, together,” Hologic CEO Stephen P. MacMillan wrote in a letter attached to the survey.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a gargantuan impact on medical care and many have been turned away as they sought help.
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America, according to the survey, does not rank within the top 10 for preventive care, sitting at No. 11, behind Vietnam.
Overall, the U.S. came in at 26, behind Belgium and ahead of Vietnam.