The average life expectancy of women in Taiwan is 78.9 in 2002, higher than 73.2 of men. The death rate of men is 0.691%, higher than 0.447% or 1.55 times of women. The suicide number of men is 2.16 times of women.
Sources：Statistics from Department of Health www.moi.gov.tw/w3/stat/home.asp
Main causes of death are: malignant tumors, brain blood vessel disease and heart attacks which top the first three for both men and women. The fourth are diabetes for women and accidents for men. Only the number of death of women from diabetes is a little higher than that of men while the rest are lower than those of men.
Liver cancer, lung cancer, and carcinoma of the rectum are the first three in cancers for both men and women in 2002. Breast cancer and cervical cancer are no. 4 and no. 5 for women. In 1999, however, cervical cancer and breast cancer rank the top two for women.
From the data of Bureau of Health, Department of Health in 2002, 11.1% of men aged over 15 thought of themselves in poor health conditions while 12.6% of women did.
Sources：Health Knowledge Publicity and Investigations on Attitudes and Behaviors of People in Taiwan, 2002 by Bureau of Health
Among the behaviors harming health, the percentage of women who smoke, drink or chew betel palm is significantly lower than that of men while the percentage of overweight women without trying to lose weight is lower than that of men. However, the ratio of women who do not exercise regularly is higher than that of men. Normally, women having chronic diseases tend to follow doctors’ advice on taking drugs or having better prevention knowledge than men do.
According to the data in 1994, 56% of men thought they are healthy while only 41.8% of women did. From the data in 2000, 52.99% of men aged over 50 thought their health was “very good” and “good,” which is higher than 42% of women. 12.91% of men thought their health was “poor” and “very poor,” which is obviously lower than 21.82% of women.
As for good behaviors to health, women only did worse in “regular exercises” and “(frequently) measuring blood pressure.” They outperformed men in “keeping proper weight,” “ingesting vitamins and calcium,” and “avoid smoking and drinking.”
II: Teenage Girls
65.44% of teenage girls in Taiwan aged between 12 and 17 were “very satisfied” and “satisfied” with their appearances in 1999, which is 10% lower than 76.25% of teenage boys. 34.50% of teenage girls were “very dissatisfied” and “dissatisfied”; i.e. 3.5 out of 10 teenage girls were not satisfied with their shapes and looks—a 10% higher than 23.75% of teenage boys.
54.26% of teenage girls “fully agreed” and “agreed” that “they are confident,” which is 12% lower than 66.35% of teenage boys. 45.74% of teenage girls “fully disagreed” and “disagreed,” which is 12% higher than 33.59% of teenage boys. No wonder, according to the study by Yang Hao-ran in 2002, 30% of girls at junior high schools once had melancholia.
Sources:1. Investigation Report on Physical and Mental Conditions of Adolescents, 1999
2. Analysis on Current Human Rights of Women in Taiwan—Difficulties and Thoughts of Future under the Mixture of Role of Women and Globalization, p. 109
III: Middle Aged Women
According to the data of Bureau of Health, Department of Health in 2002, 69.0% of married men aged between 20 and 44 had contraception and 74.1% of married women did.
According to the data of Bureau of Health, Department of Health in 2002, 22.4% of married men said their pregnant wives had abortions while 33.6% of married women once being pregnant had abortions.
However, from the data in 1998, a total of 25,288 women had intra-uterine devices, oral contraceptive pills and ligation. Only 9,256 men wore condoms or had ligation. The number of women having ligation is always around 10-16.5 times of that of men.
6,061, or 93.75%, women had sterility in 1999, far exceeding 404 men or 6.25%.
In 2002, artificial assistance in reproduction treatment was of 6,616 weeks with 5,348 women treated. Duration of pregnancy was 2,445 weeks, or 36.96% of total weeks of treatment; live births were of 1,547 weeks, or 23.38% of total weeks of treatment.
From 1996, National Health Insurance Bureau provided free cervix examinations for women aged over 30. 1.829 million women were inspected, an increase of 109% from 876,000 women in 1996. A total of 91,057 women were inspected with positive results in the past six years, contributing a lot to women cancer prevention.
54% of women from 2001 to2003 received cervix smear examinations.
The percentage of women receiving cervix smear examinations between 2000 and 2002: 7.5% were aged under 30 in 2001; 61.3% were aged between 30 and 39; 58.6% were aged between 40 and 49; 55.1% were aged between 50 and 59; 50.2% were aged between 60 and 69 with an average 36.2% of women aged over 70.
From the statistics by Department of Health in 2000, the rate of Caesar operation in the past 5 years in Taiwan was as high as 33.5%, which was much higher than 10-15% recommended by WHO. The percentage ranked the third in the world, behind Chile and Brazil.
IV: Elder Women
Complementary medicine for women menopause hormone was covered in National Health Insurance from 1994.
From the data of National Health Insurance in 2000 and the thesis by Lu Zi-yan subsided by National Science Council, a total of 282,240 people took HRT, mostly 0.625mg of oral women hormone combined with 5mg lutein. These women were aged between 31-71 with the highest 52.5% of women aged between 45 and 55. Most of the patients were for gynecology, followed by home medicine. The menopause syndrome was often treated with osteoporosis.
The remoter areas in which they live, women took less HRT. Merely 1.8% of women living in Tainan County, Hualien County, Taitung County, Penhu County, Kinmen County, Hsinchu County and Chiayi County took HRT while 68.8% of women living in metropolitan areas such as Kaohsiung City, Taichung City, Taoyuan County, Taipei City and Taipei County did. The main places for treatment were basic clinics and regional hospitals at 61.2%.
From the investigations by Bureau of Health in 2002, in the years before and after menopause, 32.5% of women aged over 30 felt physically or mentally uncomfortable and 33.3% of these women did not consult a physician. More than half (51.7%) of them “never took hormone;” 12.6% of them were “taking hormone regularly for the time being,” while the rest 32.7% “intermittently took hormone” or “stopped taking hormone now.”
9.0% of women who did not take hormone against menopause symptoms took medicine not prescribed by physicians.
Sources：Investigations on Health, Knowledge, Attitudes and Behaviors, 2002, Bureau of Health
Also from the statistics in 2000, 23.89% of women aged between 50 and 64 had problems of bones and muscles, doubling the 11.17% of men. The percentage is 33.10% for women aged 65, almost 20% higher than 14.88% of men at the same age. This might have something to do with involving in women’s doing long-term caring jobs.
Sources：1. Investigation Report on the Conditions of Elders, 2000
2. Analysis on Current Human Rights of Women in Taiwan—Difficulties and Thoughts of under the Mixture of Role of Women and Globalization, p. 108