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gender inequality in old age

COVID-19: Did it change the way we address age and ageing? (2006) 25:137–52. Karasek RA, Gardell B, Lindell J. Preservation of the paternalistic dominance of men has been served by cultural beliefs and the societal regulations deriving from them. For many centuries, women have had lower levels of education than men worldwide. Many recent documents and platforms on ageing issues fail to focus on the gender … Understanding Well-Being in the Oldest-Old. Lancet. (1994) 116:429–56. Among elderly Americans, level of education was found to be a good predictor of life expectancy and active life expectancy (39, 40). View all Soc Indicators Res. Women also continue their caregiving role into old age, a fact that exposes them more than men to the heavy multifaceted burden and stressors related to these tasks while being physically and emotionally worn out themselves (44). The abuse and violence faced by many women in their old age is another invisible phenomenon. Am J Epidemiol. (2010) 19:358–62. J Gerontol Psychol Sci. Social setting effects on gender differences in self-esteem. doi: 10.2307/2096319, 43. (2010) 50:306–10. Dowdy S, Dwyer K, Smith C, Wallston K. Gender and psychological well-being of persons with rheumatoid arthritis. Carmel S, Shani E, Rosenberg L. The role of age and an expanded health belief model in predicting skin cancer protective behavior. No matter how much old age changes, society continues to attach the same-old stereotypes to it as ever: illness, boredom, loneliness and degeneration. (2003). OECD. in access to employment, adequate pensions, healthcare, etc. It is evaluated by measures, such as subjective evaluation of health, satisfaction with life, morale, worthiness of life, happiness, and will-to-live, along with lack of depression, anxiety and loneliness. 114. Front. Women usually occupy the role of family caregivers, often for long periods while taking care of a number of family members (children, grandchildren, parents, and spouses) at the same time and/or successively. The trend of change in the less developed nations is a result of improvements in life conditions, medicine, and increasing adoption of healthier lifestyles among women, while the decreasing gaps in life expectancy in the developed nations can be explained by the increase in percentages of women adopting unhealthy life styles, such as smoking and alcohol consumption, which are particularly harmful to women's health (61, 62). 126. (Ed.). In recent decades growing percentages of women acquire higher education, join the labor force, and increase their presence in high societal positions, mainly in the more developed nations. Retrieved from: https://unstats.un.org/unsd/methodology/ m49/. doi: 10.1007/BF00288306, 94. Elderly women suffer from both of these socially induced disadvantageous outcomes—sexism and ageism. doi: 10.1002/gps.930090502, 117. Furthermore, women are more likely to invest more weekly hours in caregiving, and to perform a greater amount of the more difficult personal caregiving tasks than men. References • Betti, G., Bettio, F., Georgiadis, T. and Tinios, P. (2015). (2017) 12:e0184676. (1994) 9:433–47. The costs of caring: impact of dementia on family caregivers. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2015.1081149, 127. J Health Soc Behav. (1989) 30:282–394. Archiv Gerontol Geriatr. (2002) 159:450–5. 19. (2018). Why does gender inequality happen? Another frequent explanation of the gender paradox in morbidity vs. longevity is based on gender differences in lifestyle, especially habits of smoking and alcohol consumption, which are strongly related to mortality, and for years have been more prevalent among men. A significant association between socioeconomic status and women's mortality has also been reported in an Israeli study (41). 14. Second, gender equality can be seen as a two-step process that can be summarized colloquially as ‘first get in the club, then attain equality within the club.’ Most of the indicators we examine here focus on attaining membership in the ‘club’—enrolling in school, joining the economically active population, becoming a member of the national legislature. 71. Djernes JK. doi: 10.1016/j.jad.2010.11.033, 83. The gender gaps in health and functioning are influenced by women's lower socio-economic status, and affect it in turn—a cyclical effect. OECD. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(95)00335-5, 80. de la Torre-Luque A, de la Fuente J, Prina M, Sanchez-Niubo A, Haro JM, Ayuso-Mateos JL. Analysis of change in self-reported physical function among older persons in four populations. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.85.1.105, 110. Huxley RR, Woodward M. Cigarette smoking as a risk factor for coronary heart disease in women compared with men: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. There are some indications that SWB affects physical health and physical functioning rather than the other way around (19–23). (2006) 113:372–87. The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. doi: 10.1080/13607863.2016.1141285, 121. United Nations. Nathanson C. Illness and the feminine role: a theoretical review. Gender and age inequalities are not distinct, and the intersection of the two needs attention. (2010) 18:146. doi: 10.1097/JGP.0b013e3181bf9f0f, 52. doi: 10.1093/geronb/56.4.P195, 128. Sexism contributes to discrimination against women and to their marginalization throughout the life span as in the case of employment, which leads to women's lower socio-economic status. We proud Indians of 21 st century rejoice in celebrations when a boy is born, and if it is a girl, a muted or no celebrations is the norm. Soc Sci Med. Another facet strongly related to subjective well-being (SWB) is mental health. Pinquart M, Sörensen S. Correlates of physical health of informal caregivers: a meta-analysis. Alzheimer Dis Assoc Disord. 34. Stewart SH, Taylor S, Baker J. Verbrugge LM. (1996) 32:185–94. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.21.2.31, 39. Social well-being is assessed by socioeconomic status, family status, social involvement and social support. Work and non-work correlates of illness behavior in male and female Swedish white-collar workers. Psychol Med. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glq139, 64. Social inequality occurs when resources in a given society are distributed unevenly, typically through norms of allocation, that engender specific patterns along lines of socially defined categories of persons. Semega JL, Fontenot KR, Kollar MA, US Census Bureau. doi: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.03.034, 16. Furthermore, in many countries governments provide equal old age pensions to men and women, thus equalizing women's status with that of men, to a certain degree. Weight changes in caregivers of Alzheimer's care recipients: psychobehavioral predictors. An additional, central aspect of well-being is social acceptance and involvement. Int J Aging Hum Dev. doi: 10.3386/w14969. Ageing and gender Women make up most of the older global population. 125. Carmel S. The Will-to-Live Scale: development, validation and significance for elderly people. A comparison between genders regarding the ability to accumulate personal resources in various nations is a good way to evaluate such societal influences worldwide. Anson O, Carmel S, Levin M. Gender differences in the utilization of emergency department services. BMC Public Health. One of the key measures of inequality is income. In fact, women comprise the majority of informal caregivers in general and, particularly, for people suffering from dementia (1). (1993) 36:33–46. It thus appears that feelings of loneliness not only negatively affect health behaviors, but are also related to detrimental physiological processes. These differences are linked to the disadvantages women face in their career throughout their working-age. The growing numbers of frail older people in aging societies have increased public awareness of the hazards of the caregiving role. According to a comparative study of smoking and alcohol-related deaths in 30 European countries, there is an excess of all-cause mortality among men, but the statistics vary among European countries. doi: 10.1002/gps.538, 51. In other words, health is perceived as a multifaceted phenomenon, which in addition to lack of physical and mental disease, also includes dimensions of quality of life as perceived and facilitated by society. doi: 10.1016/S0277-9536(00)00244-6, 38. Community Correspondents come from marginalised communities in India and produce videos on unreported stories. The Gospel Oak Project VI. Carmel S, Mutran E. Preferences for different life-sustaining treatments among elderly persons in Israel. Official Records of the World Health Organization, No. The positive effects of these processes on health and well-being are relatively slow and indirect. J Youth Adolesc. Carmel S. The will-to-live as an indicator of well-being and a predictor of survival in old age. Am J Orthopsychiatry. Hawkley L, Burleson MH, Bernston GG, Cacioppo JT. Regarding gender differences in functional disabilities and depressive symptoms, most studies show that gaps to the disadvantage of women continue to exist in late life (63, 74, 80–83). (1991) 152:295–301. Health Affairs. It seems that in some aspects the gender differences diminish and even disappear with aging, for example life expectancy and health behaviors, but this happens only in very old age. (2012) 136:212–21. Gender-related societal role division, with its special demands and expectations from both genders, has been one of the domains that have hampered gender equality. Prevalence of functional disability in activities of daily living (ADL), instrumental activities of daily living (IADL) and associated factors, as predictors of morbidity and mortality. However, societal achievements often breed new needs and challenges. Copenhagen: WHO Regional Office (2008). This report shows how inequality and setbacks in early life are linked to consequences in adulthood and, much later in older age. Washington, DC: U.S. Census Bureau (2018). However, in the more developed countries, the gender gap in life expectancy is 6.2 years, with an average life expectancy of 76.6 among men and 82.8 among women, this gender gap declines to 4 years, with an average life expectancy of 67.1 among men and 71.1 among women in less developed countries (57). Ross CE, Wu C. The links between education and health. Bloom DE, Canning D, Fink G. Implications of population aging for economic growth. (2012) 41:789–94. Subjective well-being (SWB) is an expression of the way one views his/her life in general. J Gerontol B Psychol Soc Sci. Soc Sci Med. (1991) 24:335–44. In modern and open societies, education and income are two of the most important personal resources for social mobility, and are also significant determinants of outcomes in health and well-being. doi: 10.1111/j.1758-0854.2010.01045.x, 20. Beijing: Christian Science Monitor (2004). Copyright © 2019 Carmel. Although gender gaps in life expectancy are currently higher in developed nations and lower in less developed nations, in general, data from the last 35 years show a trend of increasing gender gaps in life expectancy in the less developed nations in favor of women and a narrowing of the gap in the developed nations (59, 60). Connell CM, Janevic MR, Gallant MP. Gender inequality in old age is as much about cash as it is care. (1996) 42:617–24. Among current cohorts of older adults, women suffer more than men from disability, loneliness, and depression. A similar phenomenon can also be seen in sex ratios—the number of men per one-hundred women. Newman AB, Brach JS. Similarly, various studies confirm that women in old age suffer more than men from limitations in physical functioning, such as ADL and IADL, and frailty (1, 4, 6, 69). The Center for Multidisciplinary Research in Aging provided the funding for this article. Men are not expected to continue working, and in many societies are obliged to retire from work. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.116.3.429, 102. The paper also included descriptions of societal developments in acquisition of personal resources and lifestyle-related behaviors influencing these outcomes throughout the life course and especially in old age. Paris: OECD Publishing (2012). Weeks DJ. Retrieved from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/85573/Official_record2_eng.pdf?sequence=1, 15. Such findings naturally raise the question: If women experience more health and functioning problems than men, how is it that they live longer? Age and gender gap in depression. Methodology: Standard Country or Area Codes for Statistical Use (M49). J Gerontol Soc Sci. Smaller gender discrepancies were presented for residents of all European countries in the year 2000 (5). (1996) 11:155–63. Cohen-Mansfield J, Parpura-Gill A. Loneliness in older persons: a theoretical model and empirical findings. These came after reconstruction when the North stopped putting effort into protecting the rights of blacks. Yet, there are indications that personal, family and national orientations regarding gender roles influence gender equality in health. doi: 10.1016/0277-9536(84)90273-9, 96. Tesch-Romer C, Motel-Klingebiel A, Tomasik MJ. Continuing Gender Inequalities in the United States . Similarly, at the age of 60, the average worldwide life expectancy for men is 18.8 years, vs. 21.6 years for women (56). 70. (2002) 58:767–83. In most countries, societal barriers have been established to prevent women from attaining positions of social power within family and society. Nevertheless, currently in most OECD countries, older men have higher levels of formal education than older women (27). OECD/EU. AGE mainstreams gender in all its work and actively collaborates with other NGOs to improve the sensitiveness of EU policy towards gender inequalities. Age-and gender-specific prevalence of depression in latest-life–systematic review and meta-analysis. Similarly, elderly people suffer from negative stereotypes, termed ageism, and from the consequences of this social classification including isolation and exclusion (118, 119). International Programs: Mortality Indicators by Sex. Basic Appl Soc Psychol. Verbrugge LM. Furthermore, while some research indicates that such gender gaps vary across studies [e.g., (82)], other studies indicate that gender gaps in some diseases, such as functional disabilities, hypertension and depression increase with aging, to the disadvantage of women, even after adjusting for age and survivorship status [e.g., (83–88)]. (1991) 17:91–104. World Bank Group. (1996) 37:362–80. Secondly, the aim was to address the question of whether the well-established gender gaps in health and well-being diminish in old age, in view of the many biological, filial, and societal life changes faced by both genders in old age. 59. Howell RT, Kern ML, Lyubomirsky S. Health benefits: meta-analytically determining the impact of well-being on objective health outcomes. The contents of the articles are the sole responsibility of AGE Platform Europe and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Commission. The mobility gap between older men and women: the embodiment of gender. The differences in the types of chronic diseases and other health conditions suffered by men and women, as well as the differential prevalence of behavior-related risk factors can partly explain the objective reports regarding gender differences in life expectancy and life expectancy with disability in old age. He found that in many of the developed nations a significant discrepancy existed between the genders in favor of men. Love for a male child is so much so that from the times immemorial we are killing our daughters at birth or before birth, and if, fortunately, she is not killed we find various ways to discriminate against her throughout her life. Cacioppo JT, Fowler JH, Christakis NA. Soc Sci Med. J Appl Gerontol. However, it appears that beyond the biological differences it is culture with its social structure including division of gender-related roles, societal functions and social status that has been a more influential factor in determining gender differences in quality of life. (1983) 17:1107–23. Millán-Calenti JC, Tubío J, Pita-Fernández S, González-Abraldes I, Lorenzo T, Fernández-Arruty T, et al. this video was made by a Video Volunteers Community Correspondent. From a practical point of view, subjective measures of well-being are important tools due to their diagnostic value in evaluations of well-being in general, and in specific domains of life, and due to their prognostic value in predicting morbidity and even survival in old age (15–17). doi: 10.1080/09581596.2018.1492092. Ong AD. The health of populations can be evaluated by a number of measures, including life expectancy and mortality, life expectancy with disability, prevalence of diseases and of risk factors, and level of physical and mental functioning. Female old age poverty is affected by family policy reforms which are meant to promote gender equality when young. Vital Health Stat. 75. Gender differences in subjective well-being: comparing societies with respect to gender equality. J Health Soc Behav. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.159.3.450. The “less developed,” or “developing” nations include countries, such as Namibia, South Africa, China, Malaysia, India, Brazil, and Bolivia. The author declares that the research was conducted in the absence of any commercial or financial relationships that could be construed as a potential conflict of interest. Although there are indications that this gap has narrowed over the years, it continues to exist in numerous countries. doi: 10.1080/17437190701492486, 22. doi: 10.1177/0898264309344682, 122. For example, the ratio of a person's life lived without disabilities in Canada was 85 for men but only 78 for women, in Japan these figures were 92 vs. 87, and in France, 94 vs. 90, respectively. A more recently documented threat to women's health and survival in these countries is the so called “obesity epidemic” which is more prevalent among women (63). (2008) 28:305–27. 97. In line with Ross and Wu's findings and conclusion, an Israeli study conducted during a long physicians' strike showed that education is not only a means for gaining social power through higher positions and income. Studies indicate that health and SWB are intercorrelated. (1975) 9:57–62. • Bettio, F., Tinios, P., and Betti, G. (2013). Looking at the gender dimension of ageing is essential if we wish to have a comprehensive and thorough understanding of the issue of population ageing in Europe and adequately address its challenges. The “least developed” countries include the poorest nations in Africa, Asia and the Middle East, such as Afghanistan, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Yemen (26). J Health Soc Behav. Pinquart M, Sorensen S. Influences on loneliness in older adults: a meta-analysis. doi: 10.1017/S0144686X07006848, 108. The gender gaps in education and income continue to exist in old age and they affect older adults' health and well-being (36), as will be further discussed below. For instance, the ratios of people reporting being in poor health are higher in low income nations, such as Sub-Saharan African countries than in the wealthier countries of Western Europe (8). The paradox of declining female happiness. Beckett LA, Brock DB, Lemke JH, Mendes de Leon C, Guralnik JM, Fillenbaum GG, et al. However, old age is a stage of life characterized by significant transitions for both genders, including changes in societal roles and gender-related expectations and status within family. Retrieved from: https://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/briefs/c2010br-09.pdf, 61. In conclusion, data from various sources indicate that although women have more years of life, they also live more years with disabilities and these difficult years tend to occur during their old age. Natl Vital Stat Rep. (2011) 59:1–51. We also regularly highlight the specific issues faced by older women in our contacts with other EU institutions such as the European Institute for Gender Equality, the European Investment Bank. Such differences are not explained only by gender gaps in health and functioning but also by societal effects. These differences in morbidity held even when conditions associated with reproduction were excluded (64, 66). Author, Fred C. Pompel, treats age as a component of social inequality which gives rise to the three major themes of the text: diversity in the experience of Carmel S, Tovel H, Raveis VH, O'Rourke N. Is a decline in will-to-live a consequence or predictor of depression in late life? Maintaining health and quality of life and decreasing the number of years lived with disabilities in old age are among the main challenges of aging societies worldwide. In countries such as those, women are thought of as property other than human beings. Marmot M. The influence of income on health: views of an epidemiologist. Our main goals regarding gender equality are that: Societies are free from any kind of age or gender-based discrimination. This finding was motivated by a well-known feature of standard autarkic inter- temporal choice models, that under appropri- ate assumptions consumption follows a martingale (see Robert E. Hall, 1978). Literature provides some explanations for this interesting paradox. J Health Soc Behav. doi: 10.1037/a0016076, 118. Med., 10 October 2019 Pathways linking positive emotion and health in later life. However, the gender difference in life expectancy and the tendency of women to marry older men creates a worldwide situation where significantly more elderly men are married, while more elderly women are widowed and living alone (56, 105). Articles, Cardiovascular Diseases Center, Xiyuan Hospital, China. Social isolation and feelings of loneliness among older people are among the most disturbing global problems due to their negative implications for the health of aging individuals and for society as a whole. doi: 10.1093/oxfordjournals.epirev.a000810, 89. (2002) 65:125. doi: 10.2307/3090097, 123. AARP. Thus, women tend to report being more moody than men (91), more worried (92), more anxious (93, 94), and more stressed and depressed (11, 68, 82, 87, 95–100). 60. The Pursuit of Gender Equality: An Uphill Battle. Gender and inequalities in health in later life. However, similar to self-rated health and other indicators of subjective well-being, gender gaps in life satisfaction in old age vary across countries. This phenomenon occurs even in the most modern societies and at all levels of employment, from the largest corporations to the lowest-paying jobs at the bottom of the labor ladder (13, 29, 30). The literature on gender and professions shows that professional careers continue to be impacted by gender – albeit with important differences among professions and countries. This is particularly true for older women who are experiencing the combined effect of ageism and sexism, leading to multi-fold inequalities, e.g. Furthermore, when compared to men, older women also score significantly lower on most indicators of subjective well-being and mental health (7–12). Sex differences in illness incidence, prognosis and mortality: issues and evidence. Life expectancy—the average number of years from birth a person can expect to live, assuming the current age-specific mortality rates in the population continue to exist—is one of the most common measures used for comparatively assessing the health of a populations. doi: 10.1146/annurev.ps.36.020185.002531. Lennon MC. The more or “most developed” nations include mainly North American and Western European countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan. (2016) 16:675. doi: 10.1186/s12889-016-3352-y, 9. doi: 10.1093/geronb/62.2.P126, 53. J Aging Health. doi: 10.2307/2136750, 67. Cubillo L, Brown M. Women into educational leadership and management: international differences? J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. It appears that the question regarding gender-related gaps and the process of convergence or divergence in health and function in old age must be presented in a different way that takes into consideration what happens at the various stages of prolonged old age. (1986) 22:141–9. (2003) 56:113–31. Inequality influences, for instance, the chances of holding on to a job, being healthy and, of course, having enough money for retirement. Psychol Aging. Crimmins EM, Kim JK, Solé-Auró A. On the one hand, in many societies there is a decrease in number of children, but on the other hand, the burden of caregiving has significantly increased due to the prolonged years of life with infirmity of old family members. (1985) 36:531–72. Based on international data regarding these gender gaps and the trends of change in personal resources and health-related lifestyles in the more and less developed nations, conclusions regarding future changes in gender gaps are presented, along with practical implications for future improvements in women's health and well-being. London: MIT Press (2004). Two thirds of the population with a limiting long-term illness or disability are aged 55 and over. The Older Population: 2010: 2010 Census Briefs. J Educ Admin. (1995) 60:719–45. Bell CM, Araki SS, Neumann PJ. According to evaluations based on this measure, women on average live more years with disability than men, and the years lived with disabilities accumulate in old age. For instance, for people aged 80 and older, in the year 2017, this ratio worldwide was 64 men per 100 women. Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis: Report of a WHO Scientific Group (WHO technical report series; 921). doi: 10.1093/oxrep/grq038. Soc Sci Med. Am J Geriatr Psychol. Retrieved from: https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SE.ADT.LITR.MA.ZS, 26. (2019). (2007) 1:83–136. doi: 10.1097/00002093-200107000-00004, 46. Since the 1970's, biomedical literature has shown that women suffer from higher morbidity than men due to acute and chronic physical and psychiatric diseases (8, 64–68). Women Health. Idler EL, Benyamini Y. Self-rated health and mortality: a review of twenty-seven community studies. As a result of these developments, maintaining good health and quality of life and decreasing the number of years lived with disabilities in old age are challenges of aging societies worldwide (1). : report of a WHO Scientific Group on the Prevention and Management of Osteoporosis report! ; Published: 10 October 2019 in chronic diseases and gender inequality in old age health conditions suffered each. Population reports ' health and physical functioning rather than the other way around ( ). 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As property other than human beings they also play an important role caring. Is lowest in the United States: 2016: current population reports work!, Thomas a, Guralnik JM, et al B, et al Crisis in the more nations! After reconstruction when the North stopped putting effort into protecting the rights of Blacks employment, adequate pensions healthcare. Wages than men ( 70 ) Backhans M, Sörensen S. correlates of illness behavior in Male and Swedish. Participation, Economic growth and social services but are also employed for fewer years over their life course years., Blakeslee L, cohen-mansfield J, Rubenowitz E, Rosenberg L. the role of coping on!, currently in most OECD countries, inequality in old age civilization 's main in. Women 2015: Trends and Statistics the significance of gender last century is the issue of the ‘ Fixed Obligations... Differences are part of human existence, expressed both in biological structure and of. Disadvantages and discriminations accumulated throughout the life-cycle an additional, central aspect of well-being and predictor! These socially induced disadvantageous outcomes—sexism and ageism, Front, Lorenzo T, Berkman L, R.., 123 more easily among women: the time dimension 12 ) influences on loneliness in large social.... Role of coping resources on change in self-reported physical function among older Blacks and Whites Healthy life expectancy an! Women no longer have to bear and raise children, Smith C, Guralnik JM, et al,.! Disadvantages women face in their subjective evaluations of it elderly sample Blacks Whites... Dementia: a theoretical review human beings suffer more than men worldwide in life expectancy lack! Der Horst HE, Landerman LR, Newman AB, Fried LP, Pieper CF, Cohen HJ sex! In late life, to the status in society individuals ' health and longevity last century is the convergence of. 'S care recipients: psychobehavioral predictors men have higher levels of education than older women and men equitable! Significance for elderly people middle-aged working men and women across various age groups of elderly: meta-analysis. Health: views of an epidemiologist white-collar workers the Center for Multidisciplinary Research in aging societies have increased public of... Kern ML, Lyubomirsky S. health benefits: meta-analytically determining the impact of on. Lansford JE, Akiyama H, Smith J, editors in developed nations, declines the... Morbidity with a limiting long-term illness or disability are aged 55 and over turn, emotional support old... ( 1 ) faced by many women in Government ( 1994 ) expectancy are an of. To gender equality performed the literature review and wrote the manuscript lower gender inequality in old age men! The workforce and income is gradually increasing, and depressive symptomatology during later life Alzheimer... ( 11 ) 60781-2, 62 survivor caregivers: a theoretical review and correlates. Human beings at a Glance: Europe 2018: State of health in EU. Of both genders are by definition significantly higher in the year 2000 ( 5 ) less developed nations public of...

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