Hologic & Gallup Women's Health Index Results 'Alarming'

Hologic Global Women’s Health Index 2024 findings 'a concern'.
Hologic & Gallup Global Women’s Health Index 2024 shows UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals progress has stalled

Billions of women worldwide are going untested for potentially life-threatening conditions, according to new research from a global medical equipment manufacturing firm.

Hologic specialises in medical equipment used in breast & skeletal health, diagnostic solutions, and gynaecological surgical solutions. 

Its annual Global Women’s Health Index survey shows a fall-off in women’s health from pre-Covid times.

Data from the 2024 study suggests billions of women are not getting tested for deadly diseases, continue to suffer from physical and emotional health issues, and are struggling to afford food. The study was conducted in 143 countries and territories in 2022.

Most women surveyed say they had not been tested for cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, or sexually transmitted diseases in the past 12 months.

Global Women’s Health Index 2024 key findings
  • Testing for high blood pressure increased slightly in 2022, by 3%, to 36% compared to the previous year – meaning nearly 2 billion women were not tested.
  • Just 11% of women were tested for any type of cancer in 2022 – virtually unchanged from the 12% reported in the previous two years. The cancer testing rate for women in the average-risk breast and colorectal cancers age group of 40-49 is just 11%.
  • Testing remains flat for diabetes – one of the fastest-growing chronic diseases in the world. Fewer than one in five women worldwide (19%) were tested for diabetes in the past 12 months.
  • Nearly seven in 10 women say they are satisfied with the availability of quality healthcare where they live and believe most pregnant women in their communities receive high-quality prenatal care.
  • Nearly a billion women -- one in every three surveyed in 2022 -- say they spent “a lot of the previous day in physical pain”. One in four women – nearly 700 million – say they suffer health problems that keep them from doing normal activities that people their age normally can do.
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Hologic and Gallup – multinational analytics and advisory company – launched the Global Women’s Health Index in response to the need for more timely, comprehensive and actionable data on global women’s health. 

The Index captured responses from 147,000 participants across 143 countries and territories, representing the voices of 97% of the world’s women and girls aged 15 and over. 

The most recent results echo lack of progress around women’s health indicators that are part of the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

These 2030 women’s health goals include universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services – including for family planning, information and education – and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

Launching the Index, Hologic CEO Stephen MacMillan said that “getting the data out there will start getting the message out there”, adding that “what gets measured gets acted upon".

Laura Gillespie, VP of Women’s Health Initiatives at Hologic, says: “These alarming and thought-provoking findings are only impactful if stakeholders around the world use them to get – and keep – women’s health on the global development agenda.”

She added: “We tell this story so that it can be rewritten. Women are the cornerstone of families, communities, economies and societies. We cannot achieve the SDGs without a focus on women. 

“By investing in improving their health and well-being, we’re moving the needle on many SDGs – and making a difference for women around the world.”

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