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  1. Men and women engage in different risk-taking behaviours related to their traditional gender roles, and as a result men have a greater propensity for risk-taking behaviours that may have serious and lethal consequences . Women are not risk-aversive, however, as evidenced by higher rates of smoking particularly among young females, for example.

  2. Women are much more likely to engage in health protective behaviours, including accessing health screening (e.g., breast self-examination, pap smear screening, regular check-ups).

  3. Women are the fastest growing risk group for HIV/AIDS, yet HIV/AIDS is mostly an invisible epidemic among women. The primary routes of transmission for women are heterosexual activity (64% of cases) and intravenous drug use (11% of cases). There is some evidence to suggest that gender factors may influence women's risk of the disease. There is also evidence to suggest that the efficacy of treatments may be affected by both sex (e.g., drug metabolism) and gender (e.g., lifestyles).

  4. Women and men do not receive the same (or similar) care, even for the same conditions . American studies show women are less likely to receive high-tech services, and tend to receive less aggressive care for conditions such as heart disease and cancer.

  5. According to the National Population Health Survey, stress levels among women have been on the rise between 1985 and 1991. The rates in Nova Scotia show the most dramatic change - in 1985, women's stress rates were 12% below men's; by 1991, women's stress rates were 29% above men's.

  6. Suicide rates are significantly higher in the Aboriginal population compared to other Canadians. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples found that suicide among Aboriginal girls to be eight times higher than the national average.

  7. Depression is far more common in women, and many researchers attribute this to women's status in society.

  8. Violence is considered to be a major public health issue. Women (wives) are more likely than men (husbands) to be murdered; women are significantly more likely to be victims of sexual assault.

  9. It is estimated that women constitute 80% of those who provide care, whether or not that care is paid, and whether it is provided in institutions or at home. There are significant differences in the nature of caring work provided by women and men, with women more likely to be involved in the provision of personal care and the management of caring.

  10. Poverty, a key determinant of health and longevity, is more common in women. It is associated with many of the leading causes of sickness, disability and death.
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