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Published on July 11th, 2013 | by Zamná Ávila

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Women’s Health Report Highlights Health Care Challenges

Low-income women living below the federal poverty level were four times more likely to report a fair or poor health status compared to women with incomes over 300 percent of the federal poverty level according to a new report released July 9, by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

The report, Health Indicators for Women in Los Angeles County: Highlighting Disparities by Ethnicity and Poverty Level, highlights the latest data on access to health care, health behavior, health status, and incidence and mortality rates. Also included in the report is a new Determinants of Health section with socioeconomic indicators such as employment status, housing, and social support.

The Health Indicators for Women in Los Angeles County: Highlighting Disparities by Ethnicity and Poverty Level report illustrates the multitude of social, physical, and economic factors that work together to shape the health of women in Los Angeles County. Included are new indicators on mental health, musculoskeletal health (arthritis, osteoporosis), and life expectancy; trends of key women’s health outcomes over the last decade; and a focus on how women at different life stages fare on important indicators. Indicators in the report are described for women and men combined, and for women alone.

Key findings from the report include: 

  • Latinas report the highest rate of poverty (45 percent) and lowest level of education (48.7 percent).
  • Black women have the lowest life expectancy (79.1 years) and highest mortality rates from many chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and stroke.
  • Despite having the longest life expectancy at birth, Asian/Pacific Islander women have seen large increases in obesity (4.1 to 8.2 percent) and diabetes (4.2 to 10 percent) from 1997 to 2011.
  • About 75 percent of uninsured women report difficulty accessing medical care compared with 36 percent of women on Medi-Cal and 13 percent of women with private insurance.
  • Mortality rates for breast cancer have decreased for all racial/ethnic groups except for Latinas whose rates increased 16 percent.
  • About four times as many black women (17 percent) and Latinas (13 percent) are single with children, than white (3 percent) and Asian/Pacific Islander women (3 percent).
  • Population projections show that the proportion of women 65 years and older will double in the next 50 years.

 

For a full copy of the report, Health Indicators for Women in Los Angeles County: Highlighting Disparities by Ethnicity and Poverty Level visit: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/owh/index.htm.

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