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Jacobs Institute of Women's Health
Milken Institute School of Public Health
The George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave., NW, 6th Floor
Washington, DC  20052
Liz Borkowski, MPH
Managing Director
202.994-0034

 

Women's Health Issues > Free Featured Articles

New featured study in Women’s Health Issues: Gender and Racial Differences Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Control among Veterans

Among a population of veterans at high risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), female veterans had worse control of LDL cholesterol compared to their male counterparts, and African-American women had worse control of high blood pressure than White women. These are among the findings from the Editor’s Choice open-access article in the latest issue of the journal Women’s Health Issues, “Heart Matters: Gender and Racial Differences Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factor Control among Veterans.” Karen M. Goldstein, of the Center of Excellence for Health Services Research in Primary Care at the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and her colleagues note that they found these disparities despite the fact that study participants were receiving care in the veterans’ health system, which has fewer barriers to care than most U.S. health systems.

The authors analyzed data on 1,010 women and 23,955 men who were potentially eligible for an intervention for veterans at high risk for CVD. Those included in the study all lived in North Carolina or Virginia; were at least 40 years old; received care from one of three primary-care clinics affiliated with the Durham VA Medical Center; and had been diagnosed with hypertension and/or hyperlipidemia. Among this cohort, the authors found LDL cholesterol values to be higher in women veterans than men, with age-adjusted estimated mean values of 111.7 versus 97.6 mg/dL. Among women veterans, blood pressures were higher among African-Americans than Whites, with age-adjusted estimated mean systolic BPs of 136.3 versus 133.5 mmHg, respectively, and diastolic BPs of 82.4 versus 78.9 mmHg.

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for US women, and the CVD death rate is higher for African-Americans than Whites. High blood pressure and LDL cholesterol levels are risk factors for developing CVD, and the new findings from Goldstein and colleagues highlight the importance of addressing gender and race disparities in control of these risk factors. “Raising awareness among clinicians about the importance of CVD and risk factor control in women, especially minority women, is one important step to ending gender disparities,” the researchers explain.

The full text of this article is available for free on the Women’s Health Issues website. The September/October issue also features the open-access Commentary “Making the Most of the Affordable Care Act’s Contraceptive Coverage Mandate for Privately-Insured Women” by Carol S. Weisman and Cynthia H. Chuang. Editor’s Choice articles from past issues are available on the Free Editor's Choice Collection page.
 


New featured study in Women’s Health Issues: Trends in Ages at Key Reproductive Transitions in the United States, 1951–2010
 
What portion of young women in the U.S. start using contraception as soon as they become sexually active? The Editor’s Choice open-access article in the latest issue of the journal Women’s Health Issues addresses this and other questions relevant to ongoing policy discussions about contraceptive coverage. In “Trends in Ages at Key Reproductive Transitions in the United States, 1951–2010,” Lawrence Finer and Jesse Philbin of the Guttmacher Institute use data from the 1982–2010 National Surveys of Family Growth (NSFG) and the 1995 National Survey of Adolescent Males to examine trends in ages at which women and men have their first sexual experiences, initiate contraceptive use, enter a cohabitation or marriage, and have first births.

Finer and Philbin found that in the 2006–2010 NSFG survey, nearly three-fourths of sexually active women reported they were using contraception when they first had intercourse. The likelihood of women using contraception at first intercourse varies by demographic characteristics, though. White women, women with educated mothers, and women with later first sexual experiences had shorter intervals between first intercourse and first use of contraception compared to their counterparts.
 
The authors also report that the window between women’s first sexual experience and first birth has lengthened, which means that women require effective contraceptive methods for long periods of time. Finer and Philbin note that long-acting reversible methods such as intrauterine devices are seeing greater use but are still underutilized among women in their 20s. They highlight the need for practitioners and policymakers to continue addressing the factors that hinder the acceptance and use of effective, long-lasting forms of contraception by U.S. women, and to reduce the disparities in contraceptive use at first sexual encounter.
 
The full text of this article is available for free on the Women’s Health Issues website. The May/June 2014 issue also features the open-access Commentary “‘Eating for Two’: Excessive Gestational Weight Gain and the Need to Change Social Norms,” by Jennifer L. Kraschnewski and Cynthia H. Chuang.
 
Past open-access articles include the following:

Volume 24, 2014

Gender-Based Analysis Is Essential to Improving Women's Health and Health Care

Chloe E. Bird, Zena Sharman
Vol. 24, Issue 2, e163-e164

Will Extending the Women's Health Initiative Lead to Better Research and Policy?
Chloe E. Bird
Vol. 24, Issue 1, e3-e4


Volume 23, 2013

Everything Is Not Abortion Stigma
Anuradha Kumar
Vol. 23, Issue 6, e329–e331

Women, Incarceration, and Health
Josiah D. Rich, Sandra C. Cortina, Zoe X. Uvin, Dora M. Dumont
Vol. 23, Issue 6, e333–e334

Medicaid Covered Births, 2008 Through 2010, in the Context of the Implementation of Health Reform

Anne Rossier Markus, Ellie Andres, Kristina D. West, Nicole Garro, Cynthia Pellegrini
Vol. 23, Issue 5, e273–e280

Knowledge of State-level Abortion Laws and Regulations Among Reproductive Health Care Providers
Laura E. Dodge, Sadia Haider, Michele R. Hacker
Vol. 23, Issue 5, e281–e286

The Role of Family History of Cancer on Cervical Cancer Screening Behavior in a Population-based Survey of Women in the Southeastern United States
Jessica D. Bellinger, Heather M. Brandt, James W. Hardin, Shalanda A. Bynum, Patricia A. Sharpe, Dawnyéa Jackson
Vol. 23, Issue 4, e197–e204

Pap, Mammography, and Clinical Breast Examination Screening Among Women with Disabilities: A Systematic Review
Elena M. Andresen, Jana J. Peterson-Besse, Gloria L. Krahn, Emily S. Walsh, Willi Horner-Johnson, Lisa I. Iezzoni
Vol. 23, Issue 4, e205–e214

Combat Deployment Is Associated with Sexual Harassment or Sexual Assault in a Large, Female Military Cohort
Cynthia A. LeardMann, Amanda Pietrucha, Kathryn M. Magruder, Besa Smith, Maureen Murdoch, Isabel G. Jacobson, Margaret A.K. Ryan, Gary Gackstetter, Tyler C. Smith, Millennium Cohort Study Team
Vol. 23, Issue 4, e215–e223

Health Indicators, Social Support, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Utilizing Services at a Community Organization
Akiko Kamimura, Asha Parekh, Lenora M. Olson
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e179–e185

Political and News Media Factors Shaping Public Awareness of the HPV Vaccine
Sarah E. Gollust, Laura Attanasio, Amanda Dempsey, Allison M. Benson, Erika Franklin Fowler
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e143–e151

Receipt of Cervical Cancer Screening in Female Veterans: Impact of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Depression
Julie C. Weitlauf, Surai Jones, Xiangyan Xu, John W. Finney, Rudolf H. Moos, George F. Sawaya, Susan M. Frayne
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e153–e159

Obstetrics and Gynecology Practices and Patient Insurance Type
Greta B. Raglan, Britta L. Anderson, Hal Lawrence, Jay Schulkin
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e161–e165

The HIV Risk Reduction Needs of Homeless Women in Los Angeles
Julie A. Cederbaum, Suzanne L. Wenzel, Mary Lou Gilbert, Elizabeth Chereji
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e167–e172

At What Cost? Payment for Abortion Care by U.S. Women
Rachel K. Jones, Ushma D. Upadhyay, Tracy A. Weitz
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e173–e178

Health Indicators, Social Support, and Intimate Partner Violence Among Women Utilizing Services at a Community Organization
Akiko Kamimura, Asha Parekh, Lenora M. Olson
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e179–e185

Use of a Prenatal Risk Screen to Predict Maternal Traumatic Pregnancy-Associated Death: Program and Policy Implications
Nancy S. Hardt, Jessica Eliazar, Martha Burt, Rajeeb Das, William P. Winter, Heidi Saliba, Jeffrey Roth
Vol. 23, Issue 3, e187–e193

Cost of Contraceptive Methods to Privately Insured Women in the United States
Stacie B. Dusetzina, Vanessa K. Dalton, Michael E. Chernew, Lydia E. Pace, Grace Bowden, A. Mark Fendrick
Vol. 23, Issue 2, e69–e71

Intimate Partner Violence: Perspectives on Universal Screening for Women in VHA Primary Care
Alison C. Sweeney, Julie C. Weitlauf, Elizabeth A. Manning, Jocelyn A. Sze, Angela E. Waldrop, Caitlin Hasser
Vol. 23, Issue 2, e73–e76

Evaluation of the Heart Truth Professional Education Campaign on Provider Knowledge of Women and Heart Disease
Deborah B. Ehrenthal, Suzanne G. Haynes, Kristen E. Martin, Jeanne A. Hitch, Sonya Feinberg Addo, Elizabeth O’Neill, Ileana L. Piña, Ann M. Taubenheim, Nancy L. Sloan
Vol. 23, Issue 2, e87–e9

Human Papillomavirus Vaccine Coverage Among Females Aged 11 to 17 in Texas Counties: An Application of Multilevel, Small Area Estimation
Jan M. Eberth, Md Monir Hossain, Jasmin A. Tiro, Xingyou Zhang, James B. Holt, Sally W. Vernon
Vol. 23, Issue 2, e131–e141

A Policy Matters Focus on Maternity Care and Liability
Carol Sakala
Vol. 23, Issue 1, e1

Maternity Care and Liability
Sara Rosenbaum, William M. Sage
Vol. 23, Issue 1, e3–e5

Maternity Care and Liability: Pressing Problems, Substantive Solutions
Carol Sakala, Y. Tony Yang, Maureen P. Corry
Vol. 23, Issue 1, e7–e13

Maternity Care and Liability: Least Promising Policy Strategies for Improvement
Carol Sakala, Y. Tony Yang, Maureen P. Corry
Vol. 23, Issue 1, e15–e23

Maternity Care and Liability: Most Promising Policy Strategies for Improvement
Carol Sakala, Y. Tony Yang, Maureen P. Corry
Vol. 23, Issue 1, e25–e37
 

 
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