According to a study of health trends among women and men aged 25-34 from 1990-2014, women’s health has declined. Find out why…

According to the Swedish study, 8,5 percent of women self-rated their health as being worse than peers in their own age group. At 2014, this trend had increased to 20 percent of women.

In contrast, the men self-rated their health as better at the end of the study period compared to the start.

Researchers analysed answers from 1 811 people in the MONICA study in Northern Sweden. As a part of a standard health check, study participants answered a questionnaire which included questions about self-rated health.

The results also showed that an increased proportion of study participants indicated obesity, anxiety and dissatisfaction with their personal economy, among both women and men. Simultaneously, the proportion of women and men with high levels of physical activity increased over the period.

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Why women’s health has declined

According to the study, possible causes for this negative women’s health trend may include:

  • Tougher working conditions in female-dominated professions such as in healthcare
  • Increased risk of burnouts (stress-related exhaustion disorder) and stress of conscience
  • Lack of equality in one’s private life
  • Men’s violence against women
  • Trying to manage everything – Two conflicting but coinciding norm systems in society – equality and traditional gender roles where women must fulfil expectation related to both
  • Societal pressure to be both successful, socially active and physically attractive
  • Self-confidence based on achievements and expected patterns of consumption

In short, the pressure to perform perfectly in all aspects of a women’s life is taking its toll.

Why men’s health has improved

The researchers say that possible reasons for the positive development among men may include:

  • In the labour market, men are still valued more highly than women despite having a lower level of education
  • Increased equal responsibility for children and the household is beneficial for men’s health
  • The equality norm opens up for more variation in the so-called masculine role
  • Lesser ties to rigid masculine norms in the local community through the Internet

“In recent years, public debate has raised the issue of increased illness and sick leaves among women. Our study now shows, for the first time, that there are corresponding health trends also among young women,” says Annika Forssén, a researcher at the Department of Public Health and Clinical Medicine, general practitioner and co-author of the article.

Source: Umea University via

These findings are disturbing, but as women, we’re not surprised, are you?

While All4Women endeavours to ensure health articles are based on scientific research, health articles should not be considered as a replacement for professional medical advice. Should you have concerns related to this content, it is advised that you discuss them with your personal healthcare provider.