New women's health statistics released

August 1, 2002

Pharmaceutical Representative

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new statistical report on the health status of American women that shows the disproportionate impact that certain health conditions such as osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes and lupus have on women.

The Department of Health and Human Services has released a new statistical report on the health status of American women that shows the disproportionate impact that certain health conditions such as osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes and lupus have on women.

Compiled by HHS's Health Resources and Services Administration, the new report, called "Women's Health USA 2002," highlights current and historical data on health challenges facing women and their families. Data are provided on health and health-related indicators in three categories: population characteristics, health status and health services utilization.

Report findings

The report includes data showing that in 1998, most U.S. women 40 years of age and older had received a mammogram in the previous two years and a Pap smear in the previous three years. Black non-Hispanic women (83%) were most likely to report having received a Pap smear during that three-year period.

Other highlights from the report are:


•Â Women's life expectancy reached a new record in 2000: 79.5 years. While black females had the greatest life-expectancy gain (12.3 years) between 1950 and 2000, there was still a five-year difference in life expectancy between white (80 years) and black (75 years) females.


•Â More U.S. women than ever before are getting prenatal care in their first trimester of pregnancy. In 2000, 83% received early prenatal care, up from 75% in 1989.


•Â In 2000, 10,459 AIDS cases were diagnosed in females age 13 and older; 38% were exposed through heterosexual contact. Almost half of U.S. women under age 45 have been tested for HIV.


•Â Nearly 87% of women had health insurance coverage in 2000. About a quarter of women between ages 18 and 24 were without insurance in 2000.


•Â Women's enrollment in medical school increased by 66% from 1980-81 to 1999-2000, while dental school enrollment rose 122% during the same period. In 1999-2000, women represented 67% of public health students and 65% of pharmacy students.

"For the first time, we're giving people a single place to go to get a comprehensive look at the health status of women across the nation," HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson said. "It reflects our ongoing commitment not only to identifying trends in women's health, but also to taking the right steps to improve their health in the future." PR

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