Chronic disease – leading cause of illness and death


Chronic disease is a leading cause of illness and death in the EU.

As a result, these diseases heavily burden EU citizens and their healthcare systems.  With ageing populations and changes in lifestyle, chronic disease will increasingly affect the EU and its citizenry in the future.  Chronic disease does not have the same effects on all individuals.  Gender largely impacts susceptibility, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic disease.  As a result, it is imperative that people across the EU are aware of how gendered exposures and vulnerabilities influence chronic disease.  The impact of gender on chronic disease has been understudied and under-discussed throughout the EU.

The European Institute of Women’s Health will generate bi-monthly policy briefings—factsheets—on a variety of chronic diseases expected at the beginning of April 2012.

These two- to three-page policy briefings will be succinct and in basic English to raise health literacy levels and help increase awareness at national and EU levels.  The policy briefings will describe how gender impacts various chronic diseases and include policy recommendations in order to educate policymakers, stakeholders, and EU citizens.  The EIWH aims to generate, publish, and distribute twenty-five (25) briefings in the next 12 months.  Chronic diseases include but are not limited to cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer, respiratory diseases, autoimmune diseases (such as Lupus), arthritis, musculoskeletal and osteoporosis specifically.

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