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Life Expectancy Improves For Older Women But Disparities Between Rich, Poor Countries Grows, WHO Study Says

“Life expectancy for women at 50 has improved, but the gap between poor and rich countries is growing and could worsen without better detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancers, the [WHO] said on Monday,” Reuters reports. “A WHO study, one of the first to analyze the causes of death of older women, found that in wealthier countries deaths from non-communicable diseases has fallen dramatically in recent decades, especially from cancers of the stomach, colon, breast and cervix,” the news agency writes (Nebehay, 9/2). “The head of the WHO Mortality and Burden of Disease Unit, Colin Mathers, says developed countries have the health systems and means to reduce and control cardiovascular problems,” VOA News states, adding, “He tells VOA screening and treatment programs also are successfully reducing the incidence of breast and cervix cancers.” According to the news service, the WHO “says the epidemic of chronic diseases can be reversed with available cost-effective ways to address common non-communicable diseases,” including “prevention, early diagnosis and management of high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol.” In addition, “[t]he study says inexpensive and simple tests for the screening and early detection of cervical cancer can save many lives,” VOA notes (Schlein, 9/1).