The NHS, and the economy as a whole, could make massive savings if more attention was paid to the health requirements of older women, according to a newly published study.
The Pennell Report is the result of months of research aimed at finding means to treat the health problems of women over 45.
It concludes that up to £1 billion a year could be saved if the hazards of coronary heart disease and osteoporosis were better understood. Savings would come from reduced spending on medical care and a decrease in the number of work days lost through sickness and caring for this sector of the population.
The report points out that CHD is the biggest single killer of women aged over 45, but is traditionally seen as a male disease.
It also draws attention to the comparatively low levels of earnings and pensions women receive compared to men, and suggests this affects their health by placing them at a higher risk of falling into poverty.
Dame Rennie Fritchie, who chaired the Pennell Initiative conference convened to discuss the report’s findings, said the study’s recommendations were long overdue.
Commenting on the results, Fritchie said they were particularly timely, coming as they did after the publication of The New NHS
White Paper and the Green Paper Our Healthier Nation
“The leadership of the Government is essential if we are to address the issues which disadvantage women and lead to avoidable ill-health,” Fritchie declared.