Women’s health in the U.S. continues to fall below desired standards, according to a study from the National Women’s Law Center.
The 2010 edition of “Making the Grade on Women’s Health: A National State-by-State Report Card” found that the nation as a whole received a grade of “Unsatisfactory” for women’s health, and not one state received an overall grade of satisfactory, the highest possible.
Only Vermont and Massachusetts received an “S-“, the next highest grade. Twelve states flat-out failed, with Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi making up the bottom three.
The study found that of the 68 policies analyzed for the report card, only two policies – participation in the Food Stamp Nutrition and Education Program and Medicaid coverage for breast and cervical cancer – were met by all 50 states.
According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, they have comprised published statistics concerning health issues and the importance of preventive services. In 2010, there were 1,219,545 deaths of women aged 18 and older in the United States. Of these deaths, nearly half were a result of heart disease and cancer.
Liver disease was also represented within the top ten causes of death only among women younger than 65. Alzheimer’s disease, flu and pneumonia were the main causes of death unique to women aged 65 and older.
Between 2000 and 2010, four causes of death increased in relative burden: chronic lower respiratory diseases (5.1 to 6.0 percent of deaths), Alzheimer’s disease (2.9 to 4.8 percent of deaths), unintentional injury (2.6 to 3.5 percent of deaths) and kidney disease.
In 2007–2010, 13 million women (10.6 percent) tested positive for diabetes and another 48 million women (39.7 percent) had pre-diabetes, where blood glucose levels were higher than normal. However, these levels did not indicate diabetes.
Chronic lower respiratory disease, which includes both COPD and asthma, was the fourth leading cause of death in 2010 among U.S. women aged 18 years and older.
Overall, mental illness affects both women and men equally, and about half of all Americans will meet the criteria for a diagnosable mental disorder over the course of their lives.
Risk of osteoporosis is much higher among women than men and increases with age. In 2007–2010, an estimated 10 million women (9.0 percent) and 1.3 million men (1.3 percent) reported having been diagnosed with osteoporosis (data not shown). More than one in four women aged 65 and older reported having been diagnosed with osteoporosis (27.4 percent).
Women do not opt for purchasing life insurance as readily as men do, according to research. But because of the latest chronic health data estimated, it is a good idea to purchase life insurance to protect your family especially when cost is at an all time low.