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Women’s health in California: A snapshot

May 28, 2010

  • UCLA Center for Health Policy Research
    A new fact sheet from the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research provides a useful overview of some of the biggest health challenges for women in California, including high blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, overweight and obesity and cancer screening.

    The fact sheet provides a concise summary of key data on women ages 18–64 using data from the 2007 California Health Interview Survey

    Among the findings: 

    Poverty 
    One-third (34%) of nonelderly women in California were low income in 2007, with family incomes below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL). Although approximately one in five (18%) nonelderly women reported being in fair or poor health; the rate nearly doubled for women with low incomes (32%). 

    Disparity 
    Poor Health Is More Prevalent among Women in Mid-Age and Women of Color. For example, among women ages 45-64, African American women (17%) and Latinas (15%), who had approximately twice the diabetes rate of both white and Asian/Pacific Islander women (7% each). 

    High blood pressure was even more prevalent among women of color ages 45-64: Half or more of American Indian/Alaska Native (50%) and African American (59%) women, as well as in approximately one in three Latinas (34%), Asian/Pacific Islander women (33%) and white women (29%) were diagnosed with the condition. 

    Half of all women are overweight or obese 
    One in five (21%) nonelderly women was obese and an additional 29% were overweight. 

    Latinas, Asians smoke less 
    African American(19%), American Indian/Alaska Native (20%) and white (14%) women smoked at higher rates than Latinas (8%) and Asian/Pacific Islander women (5%). The fact sheet was funded by The California Wellness Foundation. 

    The fact sheet is part of a series of recent Center publications on women’s health that includes policy briefs on women’s health in mid-life (ages 50-64) as well as on health disparities and low-income women


    The California Health Interview Survey (CHIS) is the nation's largest state health survey and one of the largest health surveys in the United States. 

    The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is one of the nation's leading health policy research centers and the premier source of health-related information on Californians.