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Women's Health USA 2013 An illustrated collection of current and historical data, published annually.

Preventive Care

Narrative

Preventive health care can help prevent or minimize the effects of many serious health conditions. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends specific screening tests, counseling, immunizations, and preventive medications for a variety of diseases and conditions.1 For example, annual blood pressure screening is recommended for adults aged 18 and older and annual cholesterol screenings are recommended for adults aged 20 and older with other cardiovascular risk factors. High blood pressure and cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease and stroke that can be lowered with identification and treatment. In 2011, 86.1 percent of women aged 18 and older had a blood pressure screening and 63.3 percent of women aged 20 and older received a cholesterol screening in the past year. Receipt of screening was much lower among women without health insurance. For example, only 64.1 percent of uninsured women had their blood pressure checked in the past year compared to about 90 percent of insured women.

To protect against certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause cervical cancer, anal cancer, and genital warts, vaccination is now universally recommended for girls and boys aged 11–12 years with catch-up vaccination for females aged 13–26 years and males aged 13-21 years who have not been previously vaccinated.2 Pneumococcal vaccination protects against a bacterial infection that may cause pneumonia or other life threatening illnesses and is recommended for young children, adults aged 65 years and older, and persons with certain health conditions.3 In 2011, only 30.4 percent of women aged 18–26 years had received at least one dose of HPV vaccine and 64.5 percent of women aged 65 and older had received pneumococcal vaccination. Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian women had lower HPV vaccination rates compared to women of other racial/ethnic groups. Along with non-Hispanic Black women, Hispanic and non-Hispanic Asian women also had lower rates of pneumococcal vaccination. The Affordable Care Act improves access to preventive care by expanding health insurance and requiring new private plans to cover USPSTF-recommended preventive services and additional services for women, such as well-woman visits, without a co-pay.4

1 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force link leaves hrsa.gov site. Recommendations. Accessed 09/11/13.

2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. ACIP Vaccine Recommendations. Accessed 09/11/13.

3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention link leaves hrsa.gov site. ACIP Vaccine Recommendations. Accessed 09/11/13.

5 Kaiser Family Foundation link leaves hrsa.gov site. Health Reform: Implications for Women’s Access to Coverage and Care. August 29, 2013. Accessed 09/04/13.

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Graphs

Data

Receipt of Selected Screenings in Past Year Among Women,* by Health Insurance Coverage,** 2011
Health Insurance Coverage Percent of Women, Blood Pressure Screening Percent of Women, Cholesterol Screening
*Aged 18 or over for blood pressure screen and aged 20 or older for cholesterol screen; reported to have been checked by a health professional; all estimates are age-adjusted.
**Private coverage includes persons with any private insurance, either alone or in combination with public coverage; public includes those covered only by government programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, military plans, and state-sponsored health plans.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2011. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Private Insurance 90.6 67.6
Public Insurance 89.8 69.0
Uninsured 64.1 37.8
Total 86.1 63.3
Receipt of Selected Vaccinations Among Women,* by Race/Ethnicity,** 2011
Race/Ethnicity Percent of Women, HPV Percent of Women, Pneumococcal Disease
*Reported having ever received the HPV vaccine among women aged 18–26 years and having ever received the pneumonia vaccine among women aged 65 years and older.
**The sample of American Indian/Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiian/Other Pacific Islanders was too small to produce reliable results. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics, National Health Interview Survey, 2011. Analysis conducted by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau.
Non-Hispanic White 33.6 68.6
Non-Hispanic Black 29.7 49.8
Hispanic 21.6 46.6
Non-Hispanic Asian 21.4 45.3
Non-Hispanic Multiple Race 34.1 78.8
Total 30.4 64.5