[NBC NEWS HEALTH]

Life expectancy for women at 50 has improved but the gap between poor and rich countries is growing and could worsen without better detection and treatment of cardiovascular disease and cancers, the World Health Organization (WHO) says in a new study.

The WHO study, one of the first to analyze the causes of death of older women, found that in wealthier countries deaths from noncommunicable diseases has fallen dramatically in recent decades, especially from cancers of the stomach, colon, breast and cervix.

Women over 50 in low and middle-income countries are also living longer, but chronic ailments, including diabetes, kill them at an earlier age than their counterparts, it said.

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Freddie Allen is the National News Editor for the NNPA News Wire and BlackPressUSA.com. 200-plus Black newspapers. 20 million readers. You should follow Freddie on Twitter and Instagram @freddieallenjr.