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Health-Related Quality of Life

Narrative

Health-related quality of life encompasses multiple aspects of health and is often measured in different ways, including self-reported health status and the number of days in the past month that a person felt that either their physical or mental health was not good.1

In 2010, 54.2 percent of women reported being in excellent or very good health, while 29.5 percent reported being in good health and 16.3 percent reported being in fair or poor health. Self-reported health status was similar among men and women but varied greatly by age, education, and race and ethnicity. About 60 percent of women aged 18–34 years reported excellent or very good health compared to 39.4 percent of women aged 65 and older (data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site). Nearly 70 percent of women with a college degree reported excellent or very good health compared to less than one-quarter of women without a high school diploma. Conversely, fair or poor health was only reported by 7.5 percent of women with a college degree compared to 40.6 percent of women of who had not finished high school.

With regard to race and ethnicity, fair or poor health was more likely to be reported among Hispanic (29.5 percent), non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native (26.0 percent), non-Hispanic Black (23.2 percent), and non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islander women (20.8 percent) compared to non-Hispanic White and non-Hispanic Asian women (12.9 and 12.7 percent, respectively; data not shown in graph images or in data tables on this site).

In 2010, women reported more physically and mentally unhealthy days than men. Women reported an average of 3.9 days of poor physical health, compared to 3.3 days per month for men. Similarly, women reported an average of 4.1 mentally unhealthy days, while men reported an average of 3.0 days per month (data for men not shown). While physically unhealthy days per month consistently increased with age, mentally unhealthy days decreased at age 65 and older. For example, on average, women aged 18–34 years reported only 2.5 physically unhealthy days per month but 4.4 mentally unhealthy days, whereas women aged 65 and older reported 5.7 physically unhealthy days per month but only 2.6 mentally unhealthy days.

1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Health Related Quality of Life. Accessed 10/23/12.

Graphs

Data

Self-Reported Health* Among Women Aged 18 and Older, by Level of Education, 2010
Level of Education Percent of Women
Excellent/Very Good Health Good Health Fair/Poor Health
*Estimates are age-adjusted. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Total 54.2 29.5 16.3
Less than High School 24.1 35.3 40.6
High School 44.1 35.3 20.6
Some College or Technical School 54.3 30.7 15.0
College 69.7 22.8 7.5
Average Number of Physically and Mentally Unhealthy Days* in Past Month Among Women Aged 18 and Older, by Age, 2010
Age Average Number of Days
Physically Unhealthy Days Mentally Unhealthy Days
*Self-reported number of days in past 30 days that physical or mental health were not good; total estimates are age-adjusted. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, 2010. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Total 3.9 4.1
18-34 Years 2.5 4.4
35-44 Years 3.2 4.3
45-64 Years 4.7 4.5
65 Years or Older 5.7 2.6