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Procedure : 2012/2129(INI)
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Tuesday, 11 December 2012 - Strasbourg
Prevention of age-related diseases of women

European Parliament resolution of 11 December 2012 on prevention of age-related diseases of women (2012/2129(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 168 of the TFEU,

–  having regard to the European Union Charter of Fundamental Rights,

–  having regard to the White Paper entitled ‘Together for Health: A Strategic Approach for the EU 2008-2013’ (COM(2007)0630),

–  having regard to the White Paper on ‘A Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues’ (COM(2007)0279),

–  having regard to the Commission report on the state of women’s health in the European Union,

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on telemedicine for the benefit of patients, healthcare systems and society (COM(2008)0689),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Dealing with the impact of an ageing population in the EU’ (COM(2009)0180),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Solidarity in health: reducing health inequalities in the EU’ (COM(2009)0567),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Action Against Cancer: European Partnership’ (COM(2009)0291),

–  having regard to the report entitled ‘Empower Women – Combating Tobacco Industry Marketing in the WHO European Region’ (WHO, 2010),

–  having regard to the Commission report ‘The 2012 Ageing Report: Underlying Assumptions and Projection Methodologies’ (European Economy 4/11. Commission, 2011),

–  having regard to Decision No 1350/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 establishing a second programme of community action in the field of health (2008-2013)(1),

–  having regard to Decision No 940/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 September 2011 on the European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations (2),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions ‘Innovative approaches for chronic diseases in public health and healthcare systems’ of 7 December 2010,

–  having regard to the Belgian Presidency’s report of 23 November 2010 on the gender pay gap,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the UN Summit of 19-20 September 2011 on Non-communicable Diseases,

–  having regard to the ‘Horizon 2020’ research and innovation framework programme (COM(2011)0808),

–  having regard to the Eurostat report entitled ‘Active ageing and solidarity between generations – A statistical portrait of the European Union 2012’,

–  having regard to the Eurobarometer survey on ‘Active Ageing’ (2012),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Taking forward the Strategic Implementation Plan of the European Innovation Partnership on Active and Healthy Ageing’ (COM(2012)0083),

–  having regard to the White Paper on ‘An Agenda for Adequate, Safe and Sustainable Pensions’ (COM(2012)0055),

–  having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2006 on breast cancer in the enlarged European Union(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 1 February 2007 on promoting healthy diets and physical activity: a European dimension for the prevention of overweight, obesity and chronic diseases(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on action to tackle cardiovascular disease(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 February 2009 on mental health(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 May 2009 on the active inclusion of people excluded from the labour market(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 November 2009 on joint programming of research to combat neurodegenerative diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2011 on a European initiative on Alzheimer's disease and other dementias(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 May 2010 on the Commission communication on ‘Action Against Cancer: European Partnership’(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 September 2010 on the role of women in an ageing society(11),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 November 2010 on the demographic challenge and solidarity between generations(12),

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on the face of female poverty in the European Union(13),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 September 2011 on the situation of women approaching retirement age(14),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 on the European Union position and commitment to the UN high-level meeting on the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases(15),

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 March 2012 on addressing the EU diabetes epidemic(16),

–  having regard to its resolution of 24 May 2012 with recommendations to the Commission on application of the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value(17),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2012 on equality between women and men(18),

–  having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0340/2012),

General context

A.  whereas the European Union promotes human dignity and recognises that every person is entitled to have access to preventive health care and medical treatment and Article 168(7) of the Treaty of the Functioning of the European Union clearly states that Member States are responsible for the organisation, management and delivery of health services and medical care, including the allocation of resources. It is vital that older people have the right to live a decent, independent life and play their part in culture and society;

B.  whereas population ageing is one of the main challenges facing Europe; whereas there are more than 87 million people aged over 65 in the EU (17,4 % of the total population) and whereas, according to projections, their number in 2060 will exceed 150 million (roughly 30 %);

C.  whereas, despite a substantial increase in life expectancy accompanied by steadily rising living standards in the industrialised countries, enabling the elderly of today to be far more active than in previous decades, negative stereotyping and prejudices with regard to the elderly are continuing to form major obstacles to their social integration, resulting in social exclusion directly impacting on their quality of life and mental health;

D.  whereas women have a longer life expectancy at birth than men (82,4 years for women as opposed to 76,4 years for men); whereas the gap in healthy life expectancy is more narrow being 61,7 years for men and 62,6 years for women;

E.  whereas in 2010 the employment rate among women for the age group 55-64 was 38,6 %, compared with 54,5 % for men in that age group; whereas following EU targets 75 % of the population in the age group 20-64 should to be employed by 2020;

F.  whereas women earn less than men (the average gender pay gap in the EU is 17,5 %); whereas the gender pay gap for the age group 55-64 is more than 30 % in some Member States and is as high as 48 % for over-65s; whereas the gender pay gap leads to a pension pay gap which often results in correspondingly lower pensions and women finding themselves below the poverty line;

G.  whereas, in order to achieve work-life balance, women choose flexible home-based, part-time, temporary or atypical employment, thereby compromising their career advancement, with major consequences in terms of their pension contributions, making them particularly vulnerable to situations of insecurity and poverty;

H.  whereas the generation of women aged fifty plus often described as the ‘sandwich generation’ or as ‛working daughters and working mothers’, tend to have fewer possibilities to take care of their own health as they often take care of their parents and their grandchildren;

I.  whereas in Europe 23,9 % of the population in the age group 50-64 are at risk of poverty, the exact percentages being 25,9 % for women compared with 21,7% of men; whereas figures in the European Union range from 39 % to 49 % depending on the country and is as high as 51 % in one EU country,

J.  whereas not least as a result of divorce, separation, or widowhood, 75,8 % of women aged over 65 live alone and whereas on average three in ten households in the European Union are single-person households, the majority of them comprising women living alone, particularly elderly women, and this percentage is rising; whereas single-person or single-income households in most Member States are treated unfavourably, both in absolute and relative terms, with regard to taxation, social security, housing, health care, insurance and pensions; whereas public policies should not penalise people for – voluntarily or involuntarily – living alone;

K.  whereas in 2009, 7,6 % of women aged over 65 suffered severe material hardship, compared with 5,5 % of men in the same age group;

L.  whereas older women as a disadvantaged group often face multiple discrimination (e.g. their age, gender or ethnic background); whereas older women, who often have low socio-economic status and encounter numerous difficulties, would benefit from social protection measures and access to national health care systems;

M.  whereas in rural areas health care is harder to come by than in urban areas, particularly in view of the shortage of health care professionals and hospital facilities, including emergency medical services;

N.  whereas elderly women, particularly those living in isolation, frequently find themselves in difficult social and economic situations affecting their quality of life and state of physical and mental health;

O.  whereas, to meet the needs of elderly women properly, a better understanding of the illnesses affecting them is necessary;

P.  whereas all these factors, including isolation, affect older women's ability to create and/or maintain social networks and thus lead active lives;

Age-related diseases

Q.  whereas, due to longer life expectance and gender sensitivity of certain diseases, women are affected to a greater extent by chronic and disabling diseases and are correspondingly more vulnerable to deterioration in their quality of life;

R.  whereas there are differences between men and women regarding the impact, progression and consequences of many disorders;

S.  whereas according to the most recent figures available (IARC), the most frequent types of tumour diagnosed in women are breast cancer (29,7 %), colorectal cancer (13,5 %), and lung cancer (7,4 %);

T.  whereas cardiovascular diseases kill more than two million people a year in the Member States, accounting for 42 % of all deaths in the EU and are the cause of 45 % of deaths among women compared with 38 % among men;

U.  whereas diabetes, one of the most common non-communicable diseases, affects more than 33 million citizens in the EU, a figure that is likely to rise to 38 million by 2030; whereas in 2010 approximately 9 % of adults (aged between 20 and 79) in the EU population were diabetic;

V.  whereas age is a risk factor for the development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (the most common form of dementia); whereas neurodegenerative diseases are more frequent in the over-65s (they affect about 1 person in 20 over 65, 1 in 5 over 80 and 1 in 3 over 90); whereas over 7,3 million people in Europe suffer from dementia; whereas studies show that the Alzheimer’s disease rate among women over 90 is 81,7 % (compared with 24 % for men);whereas stigma and lack of awareness about neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia leads to delayed diagnosis and a poor treatment outcome;

W.  whereas dementia is more common in the over-65s, it affects about 1 person in 20 over 65, 1 in 5 over 80, and 1 in 3 over 90; whereas generally, prevalence is higher among old women than among old men;

X.  whereas women are at greater risk of developing diseases of the bones and joints (e.g. osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, and brittle bones); whereas about 75 % of hip fractures caused by osteoporosis occur in women;

Y.  whereas the main risk factors involved in cardiovascular diseases, tumours, diabetes, obesity, and chronic obstructive diseases are smoking, lack of exercise, poor diet, alcohol abuse, and environmental pollution;

Z.  whereas depression and anxiety are serious forms of mental disorders that affect women to a greater extent than men; whereas for women the WHO estimates that its incidence in Europe ranges between 2 % and 15 % in the over-65 age group;

AA.  whereas hearing impartment and eye disorders also contribute heavily to the burden of years lived with functional limitations, timely and adequate diagnosis, quality treatment and access to quality medical devices can prevent further decline or partially restore functioning;

AB.  whereas around 600 000 Europeans suffer from multiple sclerosis, most of them women; whereas this is the most common form of neurodegenerative disorder and one of the main causes of non-traumatic disability among elderly women;

Access to health services

AC.  whereas equal access to health for women and men must be guaranteed and the quality of health care needs to be improved with more attention being paid to the particular situation of women in rural areas, many of whom live alone; while respecting Article 168(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

AD.  whereas the economic situation of elderly women affected by gender-based inequalities with regard to earnings, pensions and other forms of income leaves them particularly vulnerable with regard to situations of insecurity and poverty and with less to spend on the health care and medical treatments which they need;

AE.  whereas telemedicine can improve access to medical assistance unavailable in inaccessible areas and may improve the quality and frequency of the specialist medical care required by certain elderly people, given their particular state of health;

Research and prevention

AF.  whereas investments in research and innovation are essential to maintain a high quality of life making it possible to meet the major challenge of growing old;

AG.  whereas prevention and early detection result in the improvement of the physical and mental health of men and women which could lengthen the expectancy of life in good health and reduce health care expenditure, thus making for sustainability in the long-term;

AH.  whereas preventive measures need to be a priority in health care, with special attention being paid to disadvantaged groups;

AI.  whereas health literacy is necessary to enable the public to navigate complex health systems and gain a better understanding of what they themselves can do throughout their lives to prevent age-related disorders;

AJ.  whereas gender sensitivity of diseases and medicines is currently not sufficiently studied because clinical trials focus mostly on young men;

AK.  whereas, according to the IARC, if the mammography coverage rate were above 70 %, breast cancer deaths among women aged over 50 could be reduced by 20 % to 30 %;

AL.  whereas women make greater use of medicines and herbal remedies, the impacts of which need more research in order to minimise the risks of interaction;

AM.  whereas during their lives women undergo many hormonal changes and take pharmaceuticals specifically related to their age in terms of fertility and the menopause;

AN.  whereas 9 % of women take antidepressants frequently, compared with 5 % of men;

AO.  whereas according to the World Health Organization (WHO),4-6% of older people have experienced some form of abuse in their own homes, ranging from physical, sexual, and psychological abuse, to financial exploitation, neglect, and abandonment;

General context

1.  Recognises that, although women live longer than men, they do not enjoy more years of good health, that is to say, without being impeded in their activities or suffering from any major incapacity (women: 62,6 years; men: 61,7 years);

2.  Notes that elderly women need sufficient access to health care and home help to enable them to enjoy equal rights and live independent lives;

3.  Calls on the Commission to publish a new report on the state of women’s health, focusing in particular on the over-65 age group and active ageing indicators;

4.  Maintains that policies aimed at promoting work-life balance and social participation put women in a better position to perform active and healthy ageing, and therefore calls on the Member States to intensify their efforts in that direction;

5.  Calls on the Member States to encourage full integration, greater involvement and active participation of older women in social life;

6.  Stresses the importance of cultural and educational facilities for the elderly;

7.  Calls for concrete and effective measures, such as the adoption of the directive on equal treatment, to tackle the multi-discrimination often faced by older women;

8.  Supports initiatives to achieve more effective prevention of illnesses and improvement of health among the elderly and to help them remain independent;

9.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to publish a report on the measures taken by Member States in support of active ageing and on their impact with a view to identifying best practice and determining what action might be taken in the future at European level;

10.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create a more positive attitude towards ageing as well as raising EU citizens’ awareness of ageing issues and its real effects, something which has been one of the main messages of the year 2012 as a year of active ageing and intergenerational solidarity;

11.  Sees adopting a life course approach, in which the interconnections of ageing and gender are taken into account, as the way forward in ageing policies;

12.  Notes that public spending on health accounts for 7,8 % of EU GDP and that, because of population ageing, expenditure on long- and short-term assistance is predicted to rise by 3 % by 2060;

13.  Calls on Member States to devote attention to older women immigrants, who suffer from harsh economic and social conditions and often encounter difficulties in gaining access to social protection measures and health care services; considers that particular attention should be devoted to individual women, widows and separated women whose quality of life and health have been affected as a result;

14.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to fully recognise the gender dimension in health as an essential part in EU health policies and national health policies;

15.  Calls upon the Member States to strike a fine balance between implementing drastic measures to fight the financial and economic crisis and providing sufficient and adequate funding for health and social care to help manage the demographic trend of an ageing population;

16.  Calls on the Commission to publish an assessment of the impact of the economic and financial crisis on elderly women, focusing on access to preventive health care and treatment;

17.  Notes that comprehensive and in-depth strategies in the health sector require the cooperation of governments, healthcare professionals, non-governmental organisations, public health organisations, organisations representing patients, the mass media and other parties concerned with healthy ageing;

18.  Reiterates the need to build and promote a European Union more sensitive to the needs and interests of elderly women and men and for gender mainstreaming with regard to all information and awareness measures and policies in order to ensure active and healthy ageing for all;

Age-related diseases

19.  Points out that many disorders are often underestimated where women are concerned for example heart diseases which are considered to be a male problem; regrets that many women’s heart attacks go undiagnosed because the symptoms are generally different from those occurring in men; stresses also that treatment should take into account specific gender-related biological differences;

20.  Calls on the Member States to carry out public information campaigns targeted at women and aimed at raising awareness of the risk factors involved in cardiovascular diseases and to implement specialised in-service training programmes for health professionals;

21.  Regrets the lack of attention being given to the problem of increased alcohol consumption among older women in Europe and calls on the Commission and Member States to launch studies to tackle this problem and its impact on their physical and mental health;

22.  Notes with anxiety that the number of female smokers is rising, resulting in a greater risk of women developing lung cancer and heart and circulatory disorders; calls on the Member States and the Commission to adopt programmes to discourage smoking, aimed especially at young women (the WHO estimates that the percentage of female smokers in Europe will increase from the present 12 % to roughly 20 % by 2025);

23 Calls on the Commission to encourage initiatives to promote better health, not least with the aid of the necessary information on the risks associated with smoking and drinking and on the benefits of a proper diet and sufficient exercise, these being ways to prevent obesity, high blood pressure, and the related complications;

24.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to launch information campaigns targeted at pre-menopausal or menopausal women;

25.  Calls on Member States to increase public awareness of diseases of the bones and joints by organising public information and education campaigns on their prevention and cure;

26.  Calls on the Commission to initiate an EU action plan on non-communicable diseases as a follow-up to the outcomes of the UN Summit on Non-Communicable Diseases in September 2011 and the public consultation process launched by the Commission in March-April 2012;

27.  Urges the Commission to focus on young people in particular regarding the forthcoming review of Directive 2001/37/EC on the approximation of the laws regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning the manufacture, presentation and sale of tobacco products;

28.  Calls on the Commission to draw up and implement a specific EU strategy in the form of a Council recommendation on the prevention, diagnosis and management of diabetes, also covering information and research, including a cross-cutting gender approach and equality between men and women; while respecting Article 168(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

29.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to adopt a holistic and gender sensitive approach to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias in order to improve the quality of life and dignity of patients and their families;

30.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to formulate public information campaigns regarding Alzheimer’s disease (that is to say the disease itself and possibilities of treatment and care) in cooperation with national and European Alzheimer associations;

31.  Calls for the Member States to urgently create national plans and strategies for Alzheimer's diseases if they haven't yet done so;

32.  Notes with concern that the suicide rate in the EU is highest among the over-65s and the numbers of suicide attempts are higher for women than for men and are increasing because of the economic downturn’s aggravated impact on elderly women; urges the Commission to publish a study on the link between these statistics and the economic crisis’ disproportionate impact on older women;

33.  Calls on the Member States, working in collaboration with the Commission and Eurostat, to improve data collection, with a view to obtaining breakdowns by sex and age, and to produce more accurate information about mental health and the relationship between mental health and a healthy lifetime;

34.  Calls on the Member States to organise specific training courses for general practitioners and mental health professionals, including doctors, psychologists, and nurses, on the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases and depressive disorders, paying specific attention to the additional challenges faced by older women;

35.  Calls on the Member States to prioritise actions in the field of memory disabling diseases, such as dementia, and increase their efforts in medical and social research in order to increase the quality of life of people with the disease and that of their carers, and ensure the sustainability of the health and care services and boost growth at European level;

36.  Calls on Member States to ensure that public and private sector staff providing care for the elderly take part in ongoing training programmes and undergo regular assessment;

37.  Calls on Member States to encourage specialist medical studies in gerontology at public universities;

Access to health services

38.  Calls on the Member States to support the initiatives needed to help older women access medical and health services, including women living far from larger centres and in areas difficult to access, regardless of their personal, economic and social circumstances, laying emphasis on individualised assistance, including the longest possible period of care at home, on specific forms of support and assistance for caregivers and telemedicine, in so far as it can improve the quality of life of those suffering from chronic diseases and help cut waiting lists;

39.  Calls on Member States, when planning health service budgets, also to analyse, monitor and guarantee the gender dimension;

40 Calls on the Member States to further develop eHealth services and gender sensitive ambient-assisted living solutions in order to promote independent living at home, and to make health services more efficient and accessible for older women who are isolated for reasons of mobility and who are more often excluded from the benefits of these facilities, and to establish a 24-hour telephone advice network;;

41.  Calls for a rights-based approach to be taken in order to enable older people to play an active role when decisions are made on the choice and the design of the care and social services provided for them;

42.  Calls on Member States to ensure that welfare protection schemes, including health insurance, takes account of unemployment and social difficulties affecting women so that they are not left unprotected;

43.  Considers it is important to support and facilitate access to medical, healthcare and other forms of assistance for women who, notwithstanding their own health problems, are required to care for dependants;

44.Urges that public and private institutions providing health care for the elderly and run along hospital lines to be reorganised in a manner more congenial to inmates, not only providing them with medical care but also giving priority to any form of independent or creative activity in order to prevent them becoming institutionalised;

45.  Firmly believes that elderly inmates in public or private residential care must be consulted on the running of these institutions;

46.  Maintains that the increasing amount of medical and paramedical personnel have to be highly trained and prepared to adopt an approach which, given the gender- and age-specific factors involved, should allow for the special psychological, interpersonal, and information needs of older women;

47.  Calls for medical studies to include wider training in listening skills and psychology; calls for social workers also to be more closely involved in this policy of prevention;

48.Encourages associations and telephone help-lines providing care, protection and psychological support for the elderly;

49.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to collect data and exchange good practices, taking care to include gender-related elements, serving to identify good practice regarding access to health services, in particular avoiding cumbersome administrative procedures and formulating specific measures and policies improving the quality of life for elderly women and also to advise governments on creating an environment conducive to spreading awareness of age-related illnesses in the Member States;

50.  Encourages Member States to strengthen preventive healthcare for older women by providing, for example, accessible and regular mammograms and cervical smear tests, to erase age limits in access to health prevention such as breast cancer screening, and to raise awareness of the importance of screening;

51.  Calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to disseminate an EU-wide culture of prevention and on Member States to step up information and awareness campaigns aimed at schools, universities, workplaces and centres for the elderly, drawing on the cooperation of professionals, local authorities, and NGOs;

Research and prevention

52.  Notes with concern EU research results published in April 2011 showing that some 28 % of women aged 60 years or older have been mistreated in the last 12 month; Takes the view that priority must be given to the protection of the elderly from abuse, mistreatment, neglect and exploitation, whether intentional and deliberate or resulting from carelessness; calls on the Member States to strengthen their actions to prevent elder abuse at home and in institutions;

53.  It is important to adopt an approach to medical research which takes account of problems specifically relating to men and women respectively;

54.Points out that the strategy for equality between men and women (2010-2015) recognises that women and men are subject to specific illnesses and health risks which must be suitably taken into account with regard to medical research and health services;

55.  Calls for the development in the context of Horizon 2020 of a strategic plan of research into health care for women over the next decade and the creation of a women's health research institute to ensure implementation thereof;

56.  It is important to ensure the presence of female experts on national consultative technology and science committees for the assessment of pharmaceuticals;

57.  Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to include elder abuse as a research topic in the Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases to measure its prevalence and impact on people with dementia;

58.Supports the European innovation partnership on active and healthy ageing as a pilot initiative seeking to achieve a two-year increase in expectancy of life in good health for EU citizens by 2020 and resolves to achieve three objectives for Europe in terms of improving standards of health and quality of life for the elderly and the sustainability and effectiveness of care arrangements;

59.  Welcomes projects and initiatives nutrition and lifestyle (EATWELL project, EU Platform on Diet, Physical Activity and Health Salt Reduction Framework), and the European partnership for action against cancer;

60.  Stresses that all objectives and actions under the second EU programme of action regarding health should help increase understanding and acceptance of the different needs of men and women and corresponding approaches to health issues;

61.  Welcomes the Commission proposal concerning a cohesion policy package (2014-2020) identifying active and healthy ageing and innovation amongst its investment priorities;

62.  Regrets the fact that 97 % of health budgets is earmarked for the treatment of non-communicable diseases and only 3 % for investment in prevention at a time when the cost of treating and managing non-communicable diseases is increasing dramatically owing to the wider availability of diagnostics and treatments; calls in this respect on Member States to increase their health budget to include prevention activities;

63.  Calls on the Commission to place more emphasis on tackling the causes of illnesses and, to that end, to promote prevention across sectors and at all levels of society; calls on the Commission to promote health through the timely diagnosis of illnesses, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, adequate healthcare, and ensuring that older workers enjoy suitable working conditions;

64.  Calls on the Member States to put more focus on osteoporosis awareness campaigns and to provide clearer information about osteoporosis screening to prevent fractures, including bone densitometry scans, which should be made more widely available;

65.  Endorses the WHO ‛gender challenge’, implying as it does a need for better assessment of the risk factors affecting women’s health; welcomes in this context recommendations by the WHO to build age-friendly environments and increase opportunities for older women to contribute productively to society including intersectoral collaboration to identify and promote actions outside the health sector that can enhance health outcomes for women;

66.  Calls on the Member States, as far as the training of medical and paramedical personnel is concerned, to highlight the differences in the clinical signs and symptoms of cardiovascular diseases occurring in women, stressing the benefits of prompt intervention;

67.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to encourage within the framework of Horizon 2020 closer scientific collaboration and comparative research on multiple sclerosis within the European Union so as to make it easier to provide suitable treatment for the prevention of this disease, which causes serious disruption of motor functions particularly in elderly women;

68.  Calls on the Commission to continue to support awareness campaigns targeting elderly women more specifically and focusing on gender and age sensitive recommendations concerning correct nutrition and the importance of physical exercise, given that these can play a role in fall prevention and help reduce the incidence of heart and circulatory disorders, osteoporosis, and some types of cancer;

69.  Calls for action to be taken accordingly, in the form of information and education at school and through health messages, regarding the importance of ensuring correct nutrition and the health risks of the failure to do so;

70.  Calls on the Commission to consult with the Council with a view to reactivating, and giving proper effect to, the recommendation on cancer screening; focused on sections of the population who are disadvantaged in social and economic terms, with a view to reducing health disparities; calls on Member States which have not yet done so to implement the recommendation in accordance with the European quality assurance guidelines;

71.Calls on the Commission and the Council to adapt the limit for screening programmes, at least in countries with a higher incidence of disease and in cases where patients’ family history puts them particularly at risk, and also to include older women in such programmes, bearing in mind their longer life expectancy;

72.  Calls on the Commission and Member States to promote women’s rights with a view to combating all forms of age- and gender-based violence and discrimination, for example through awareness and information campaigns targeted at the entire European populace from a very early age;

73.  Calls on the Member States to intensify clinical research on women and believes that the recent proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning clinical trials on medicinal products for human use repealing Directive 2001/20/EC could be revised with that end in view;

74.  Calls on the Member States to develop innovative solutions directly through cooperation with patients in order to meet the needs of older people more effectively;

o   o

75.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 301, 20.11.2007, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 246, 23.9.2011, p. 5.
(3) OJ C 313 E, 20.12.2006, p. 273.
(4) OJ C 250 E, 25.10.2007, p. 93.
(5) OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 561.
(6) OJ C 76 E, 25.3.2010, p. 24.
(7) OJ C 212 E, 5.8.2010, p. 23.
(8) OJ C 271 E, 7.10.2010, p. 7.
(9) OJ C 136 E, 11.5.2012, p. 35.
(10) OJ C 81 E, 15.3.2011, p. 95.
(11) OJ C 308 E, 20.10.2011, p. 49.
(12) OJ C 74 E, 13.3.2012, p. 19.
(13) OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 77.
(14) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0360.
(15) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0390.
(16) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0082.
(17) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0225.
(18) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2012)0069.

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