According to the late Gilda Radner, "It's always something."
Radner, who died of ovarian cancer at the age of 42, seems a fitting reminder of how far we still need to go in attaining optimum women's health. A new report, issued by the National Women's Law Center, points to continuing areas of concern in virtually all states.
The summary paints a bleak picture. When assessing the overall quality of women's health, not a single state received a passing grade. Only three states received a grade of "satisfactory minus," indicating they scored above 75% in meeting desired benchmarks. All other states - for the math-challenged, that would be 47 additional states - received failing marks.
There was precious good news, with only 3 of 27 health benchmarks met. Those dealt with mammograms, dental care, and colorectal cancer screenings. That's certainly good news, but...
The report also indicates:
-Every - EVERY - state reports an increase in obesity among women.
-Diabetes rates continue to rise
-12% live in a "medically underserved area"
-18% of women have no health insurance
What's the answer?
Continued efforts on all levels - federal, state, local, and personal. Access to health care services must be improved. Health insurance must be made readily available to all women nationwide. Healthy lifestyles must become the fabric of our collective psyche - it's time to trade in the tater tots for the treadmill...
To read a summary of the report, see this from Reuters. To read the complete, highly detailed report, see this from the National Women's Law Center. To read about living an active, healthy life, see this from the National Women's Health Resource Center.