Report: Minority, Low-Income Women in L.A. County Face Care Gaps
Low-income and minority women in Los Angeles County are significantly more likely to have chronic conditions and limited access to health care, according to a new report from L.A. County's Department of Public Health, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Insurance Status and Mammograms
Researchers examined the percentage of women who had received mammograms during the previous two years and found that:
- 54% of uninsured women had received the screening;
- 68% of women enrolled in Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, had received the test; and
- 79% of women with private insurance had received a mammogram.
Researchers also found that Asian women were the least likely to receive mammograms, Pap tests and other types of preventive care.
The report noted that Hispanics had the lowest health status of women in all ethnic groups, with high obesity rates and high rates of death from diabetes. Researchers found that more than one-third of Hispanic women lacked health insurance and 41% reported problems in accessing care.
In addition, the report found that African-American women had the greatest health disparities and mortality rates compared with other ethnic groups. According to the report, African-American women are:
- More likely to die from chronic diseases;
- More likely to have sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS;
- More than twice as likely to be obese as white women; and
- Twice as likely to smoke as other women in the county.
Researchers suggest that the poor health status of African-American and Hispanic women could be partially attributed to:
- Limited access to quality care;
- Racial inequalities;
- Stress; and
- Unhealthy behaviors (Hennessy-Fiske, Los Angeles Times, 3/7).