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Seven Facts About Women’s Health

silhouette drawing of women

Women face diverse and unique health concerns across their lifespan, which may affect their overall health and wellness. In observance of Women’s History Month, CDC’s Office of Women’s Health published Seven Facts About Women’s Health to highlight health conditions and challenges that impact the lives of women and girls each year.

  1. Women, Caregiving, and COVID-19. Women who are caregivers are at greater risk for poor physical and mental health, including depression and anxiety.
  2. Women with Disabilities. Women with disabilities need the same general health care as women without disabilities. They may also require additional care to address their individual and specific needs.
  3. Menstrual Health. Globally, millions of women and girls lack access to clean menstrual hygiene products and face challenges in maintaining their menstrual hygiene in a private, safe, and dignified manner.
  4. Bleeding Disorders. Heavy menstrual bleeding, also known as menorrhagia, affects more than 10 million American women each year, or one out of every five women.
  5. Sexually Transmitted Diseases/Infections. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs), are very common among women.
  6. Intimate Partner Violence. Women with a disability are at greater risk of experiencing rape than women without a disability. An estimated 2 in 5 (39%) female victims of rape had a disability at the time of the rape.
  7. Substance Abuse. Deaths from drug overdose continue to contribute to overall mortality and the lowering of life expectancy in the United States. Women struggle with opioid and substance use disorders, so it is important they speak with a medical provider about proper medication.

Read more about Seven Facts About Women’s Health on OMHHE’s website.

CDC Releases Updated Maps of America’s High Levels of Inactivity

women doing yoga outdoors

Physical activity can benefit everyone. However, 25% of U.S. adults are not active enough to protect their health. Physical inactivity for adults is defined as not participating in any physical activities outside of work over the last month – activities such as running, walking for exercise, or gardening.

More than 1 in 5 adults are inactive in all but four states, according to new state maps of adult physical inactivity prevalence released by CDC.  The maps point to notable differences in physical inactivity levels by race and ethnicity. Overall, Hispanic adults (32.1%) had the highest percentage of physical inactivity outside of work, followed by non-Hispanic black (30.0%), non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native (29.1%), non-Hispanic white (23.0%), and non-Hispanic Asian adults (20.1%). Lack of access to safe and convenient places to be physically active may contribute to the observed racial and ethnic disparities.

The new maps use combined 2017-2020 data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), an on-going state-based telephone interview survey conducted by CDC and state health departments. This marks the first time CDC has created state maps of physical inactivity specifically for non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Native and non-Hispanic Asian adults.

Learn more about physical activity and view the map and data tables.

Youth Tobacco Product Use Remains a Serious Public Health Concern During COVID-19 Pandemic

people distanced in line

The 2021 National Youth Tobacco Survey (NYTS) conducted among U.S. middle and high school students during the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that youth tobacco use remains a serious public health concern. According to new data released in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, disparities in youth tobacco use are evident. Among middle and high school students combined, current use of any tobacco product was higher among students who identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (14.2%) than among those who identified as heterosexual (7.9%) and those who were “not sure” about their sexual identity (5.5%); and higher among students who identified as transgender (18.9%) compared to those were not transgender (8.2%) or not sure (9.1%).

Additionally, among all race and ethnicity groups, non-Hispanic Black students reported the highest prevalence of current combustible tobacco product use (5.2%), and specifically cigar use (3.1%). While use of tobacco products in any form is unsafe, death and disease from tobacco product use in the United States is primarily caused by combustible tobacco products.

New HHS Report Highlights 40 Percent Decline in Uninsured Rate Among Black Americans Since Implementation of the Affordable Care Act

person signing medical documents

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report that shows historic gains in health care coverage access and affordability among Black Americans.  The Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) coverage provisions began in 2010. The report, which was produced by researchers in HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), shows that the uninsured rate among Black Americans under age 65 decreased from 20 percent in 2011 (approximately 7.1 million people) to 12 percent in 2019 (approximately 4.4 million people), a decline of 40 percent.  The report also highlights the Biden-Harris Administration’s legislative and administrative actions over the past year to expand affordable coverage options through American Rescue Plan subsidies, a Marketplace Special Enrollment Period (SEP), and enhanced outreach to black Americans.

Read the full reportexternal icon.

CDC Data Highlight Factors that Contribute to Continuing HIV Disparities in the U.S.

US map

Despite overall progress in reducing HIV transmission in the United States, HIV continues to affect some groups more than others due to longstanding and ingrained barriers. Black or African American (hereafter referred to as black) people account for a higher proportion of new HIV infections, compared to other races and ethnicities. While black people accounted for 13% of the U.S. population in 2019, they accounted for 40% of people with HIV that same year, according to CDC estimates.

HIV disparities can and must end. Racism, longstanding systemic inequities, social and economic marginalization, residential segregation, unequal reach of HIV prevention and treatment, and higher levels of HIV in some communities are among the factors that have contributed to these troubling and persistent disparities.

CDC report published for National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on February 7, found 52% of Black adults with diagnosed HIV resided in areas in the country with higher  Social Vulnerability Index (SVI) scores — often residentially segregated communities comprised predominately of black people. The report underscores the continuing, urgent need to address the social determinants that contribute to disparities and better deliver HIV prevention and care to people who need it most.

To achieve health equity and end the HIV epidemic, the nation must overcome barriers that, for far too long, have stood between some people and highly effective HIV prevention and treatment tools. CDC is working with partners on many fronts, and through the federal Ending the HIV Epidemic in the U.S.external icon initiative, to focus resources to communities that could most benefit from key, science-based HIV treatment and prevention strategies that are scaled up in innovative ways to reach populations equitably.

CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System Helps Tell the Story of Homicides of American Indian and Alaska Native People

native man

A recently published CDC report is helping uncover the characteristics of homicides of American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) people. Analyzed and reported for the first time, data from the National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS) show that of the 2,226 AI/AN homicides reported in 34 states and the District of Columbia from 2003-2018:

  • The rate of homicide was three times higher in AI/AN males than females (12 versus 4 per 100,000)
  • Approximately half of victims lived (48%) or were killed (53%) in metropolitan areas
  • A firearm was used in nearly half (48%) of homicides
  • For female victims, 38% of suspects were current or former intimate partners

This report includes many implications for prevention. Efforts to prevent violence within AI/AN communities can have greater impact when they use and adapt approaches and values that are inherent in AI/AN communities. One critical strategy for preventing interpersonal violence is to teach safe and healthy relationship skills through social-emotional learning programs for youth. Programs such as Discovery Dating leverage the unique AI/AN culture and community to shape positive outcomes, and a culturally adapted version of Coaching Boys Into Men builds knowledge and positive attitudes about healthy masculinity, relationships, nonviolent problem solving, and being an active bystander. Cultural practices can be interwoven into proven violence prevention programs such as these for AI/AN people regardless of tribal or urban residency. Violence is preventable, and in addition to existing AI/AN community efforts, CDC supports the use and adaptation of violence prevention technical packages and the Veto Violence program tools and training.

Page last reviewed: April 18, 2022