U.S. Falling Short on Women's Health Goals

Report points to binge drinking, decrease in Pap smears, mortality from cancer and heart disease

FRIDAY, Dec. 10 (HealthDay News) -- In terms of women's health, the United States hasn't met a number of its goals, many of which are found on the Healthy People 2010 list, according to a new report from the National Women's Law Center and the Oregon Health & Science University.

In the "Making the Grade on Women's Health: A National and State-by-State Report Card" report -- part of a series that was last published in 2007 -- the authors grade states based on a variety of health status benchmarks. They also point out whether states have met nearly 70 health policy goals.

Issues of particular concern since the last report include an increase in women who report binge drinking and a decrease in the percentage of women who have regular Pap smears. Areas in which the nation didn't meet goals with its improvements include mortality from heart disease, lung cancer, and breast cancer. Cholesterol screening was the only area in which women's health improved enough to result in a higher grade. In the new report, no states received an overall satisfactory grade for women's health.

"The good news is that when the nation rallies around a health problem with federal and state policies and programs as well as public attention, we can achieve real progress," Judy Waxman, the law center's vice president for health and reproductive rights, said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we have much more work to do in many areas of women's health."

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