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Women's Health

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Women's Health: How Does Your State Rank?

Hawaii Has Lowest Death Rate for Women; Colorado Has Least Obese Women

WebMD Health News

Sept. 1, 2004 -- Women are less likely to be obese in Colorado, and they're more likely to get regular mammograms if they live in the Northeast, according to a new federal report that ranks women's health state-by-state.

The report, released today by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health and the CDC, ranks each state, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico on 27 indicators of women's health, such as major causes of death, preventive care, and health insurance coverage.

Researchers found no state scored best on all of the women's health indicators, but several regional patterns emerged, such as:

  • Eight of the 10 states with the highest stroke death rates were in the South.
  • Colorado, Hawaii, and Utah had some of the lowest death rates for heart diseases and cancers.
  • The Northeast had a cluster of states with a high percentage of women with recent mammograms and recent cholesterol screenings.
  • States with a large Hispanic population -- Texas, California, Arizona, and Colorado -- had relatively lower rates of health insurance coverage.

Ranking Women's Mental Health

In the report, researchers also looked at women's mental health and found the women's mental health appeared best in Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Montana. These states had the most women who reported zero days in the previous month in which their mental health was not good due to stress, depression, and problems with emotions from 1997 to 2000.

The outlook for women's mental health was less rosy in Kentucky, West Virginia, Alabama, Nevada, Mississippi, and Oregon, where the most women reported 14-30 days in the last month in which their mental health suffered.

Women's Obesity and Death Risks Vary by State

When it came to obesity rates among women, researchers found that Mississippi, West Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Michigan, and Texas had the most obese female residents, with 25% or more of the women classified as obese from 1997-2002.

Colorado, Hawaii, and Massachusetts had the lowest percentage of obese women -- less than 18% in each state.

The report also showed that women's risk of death from any cause varied greatly among the states. For example, women's mortality rate was highest in Mississippi and lowest in Hawaii.

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