Biocultural medium, gender and mental health (Spain)
The aim for 2030 is to reduce non-infectious diseases to a third (these include cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular, chronic respiratory and mental health). It is not an easy aim to achieve, as globally they represent 68% of deaths worldwide, particularly among over 70s but also half of those who die earlier.
Mental disorders (especially anxiety and depression) prevail in 10 % of the world, develop in different ways and can lead to suicide, which is the second (after traffic accidents) cause of death among 15-29 year-olds.
The increase of mental illness as a cause of death stands out among women and men in prosperous countries, where life expectancy is high. In 2000 mental health problems were not among the 10 main causes of death, while nowadays they are in fourth place.
Women live longer than men, but are frequently affected by diseases of the nervous system. In Spain 70% of deaths from Alzheimer’s were in women. The proportional contribution of biological and cultural determinants to this difference (sex and gender) has yet to be worked out.