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Now a third of women earn all family cash

MORE than one in three Irish women are the sole earners in their household, it has emerged.

New research has revealed that women were increasingly pressured to financially support their families.

Two years ago, 48pc of the population were struggling to make ends meet, but this now increased to an alarming 69pc.

Almost half of all Irish households say they have been affected by the recession through loss of job or reduction in work hours or salary.

People under the age of 50 were found to be more concerned about their finances and money in general than about their personal health.

While women in employment are more likely to look after their health, they tend to prioritise their children's wellbeing, according to the new study.

"There is a huge pressure on women today, and while it is human nature that a mother would put her child's health before her own, I would urge mothers to make sure they look after their own health and wellbeing," an advocate on women's health issues in Ireland, Dr Mary Henry, said.

"On a positive note, I was pleased to see that the number of women having various types of health screening is on the rise. The number of women having cervical smear tests is up from 29pc in 2010 to 34pc this year, and the number having mammograms remains stead at 19pc."

Despite this improvement on last year's figures, the Pfizer Health Index 2011 report raised serious concerns about the lack of STI screenings among the Irish population.