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U.S. Women's Health Care Still Falls Short: Report
Date:10/17/2007

11 states as well as District of Columbia receive failing grades

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 17 (HealthDay News) -- The United States isn't making the grade when it comes to women's health, a new report contends.

The report gives the country an overall grade of "unsatisfactory" because it meets only three of 27 benchmarks for women's health. Those benchmarks are the percentage of women aged 40 and over who get regular mammograms; the percentage of women who visit their dentist annually; and the percentage of women aged 50 and over who are screened for colorectal cancer.

Not one state received an overall "satisfactory" grade in the area of women's health. Three states -- Massachusetts, Minnesota and Vermont -- received "satisfactory minus" grades, down from eight states in 2004.

Eleven states, as well as the District of Columbia, received failing grades -- Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia -- double the number that failed in 2004.

All other states received a rating of "unsatisfactory," according to the report, released Wednesday by the National Women's Law Center and Oregon Health and Science University.

"As the years pass, states are further behind in the quest to meet national goals for women's health," Judy Waxman, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center (NWLC), said during a teleconference. "States have made some progress in adopting policies that could advance women's health as opposed to past report cards, but we still have a long way to go because once policies are in place, it takes a while to make an impact on health status."

Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of Women and Heart Disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, said she was "absolutely appalled by this study. We're running around the U.S. talking about women and heart disease, and here we have
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