WOMEN’S HEALTH: Most States Rank ‘Unsatisfactory’
Women's health in Hawaii ranks best nationwide, while Mississippi ranks worst, according to a report from the National Women's Law Center, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and the health consulting firm the Lewin Group. USA Today reports that the study, "Making the Grade on Women's Health," acquired some of its benchmarks from HHS' Healthy People 2000 initiative, including life expectancy, death rate from breast cancer and percentage of women receiving prenatal care in their first trimester of pregnancy. States were individually graded on each of the 25 benchmarks and then given an overall grade. Grades included "satisfactory" for meeting a benchmark, "unsatisfactory" for coming within 10% of a benchmark and "F" for falling short of a benchmark by more than 10%. No state earned an overall satisfactory rating, but 42 states received unsatisfactory grades overall and eight states and the District of Columbia earned failing marks overall. All 50 states and the District met only one benchmark -- percentage of women ages 50 and older who received mammograms. No state met all 25 benchmarks and no state met the national goal for all women receiving prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy. The study also awarded the District the worst maternal death rate, with 22.8 women dying out of 100,000 who give birth. By comparison, New Hampshire had the lowest maternal death rate, with 1.9 maternal deaths for every 100,000 live births. In addition, the report "uncovered many information gaps, such as a dearth of state-level health data for racial and ethnic groups" (Rubin, 8/22).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.