Test Your Knowledge Of Women’s Health Care With These Five Essential Questions

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Whether it's for your mother, sister, friend, a stranger, or yourself, we've all needed reliable health care for women throughout our lives. But while you may agree that women's health care matters, you may not know as much about it as you think. Read these facts about why women's health care is so important, then test your knowledge!



1. More women than men live with autoimmune diseases.

According to the Office of Research on Women's Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), more than 100 serious, chronic illnesses can be traced back to an underlying cause of autoimmunity. Approximately 50 million Americans currently live with some form of autoimmune disease, of which a staggering percentage are women. In particular, the autoimmune disease lupus disproportionately affects women, with 9 out of 10 lupus patients being female. 

On average, three times as many women as men are diagnosed with autoimmune diseases, and it represents the fourth largest cause of disability among women in the United States. That's why it's so important for women who think they might have autoimmune disease to receive a proper diagnosis and have access to resources to manage their health successfully. 

Can you guess what percentage of Americans with autoimmune disease are women?

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2. Because women often take on the role of primary caregiver, they may forget to take care of themselves.

Because mothers most often serve as the primary caregivers, they make the majority of health care decisions in families but may not prioritize their own health care. According to a 2015 ZocDoc Survey, 91 percent of parents delay, or simply don't schedule, annual checkups, and women are more likely to put off preventive care than men. While it may not be easy to strike a work-life balance where health is a priority, it's so important that we do. Busy moms can use online doctor's appointment portals such as ZocDoc or DocASAP to make the most of their limited time. 

Do you know what percentage of women put off preventative care?

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3. Up until recently, health care has cost more for women than men.

Before the Affordable Care Act (ACA), women who bought insurance on the individual market were routinely charged up to 50 percent more  for monthly premiums than men. This practice, known as "gender rating," disproportionately hindered a woman's ability to seek proper health care. Though the Department of Health and Human Services issued a "final rule" prohibiting discrimination in health care and health insurance based on gender, race, disability, age, and place of birth, women still pay more for out-of-pocket health care costs than men. This greater financial hardship means nearly a quarter of women put off their health care, compared with just 1 in 5 men — underscoring how every woman deserves accessible and affordable health care.

On average, what percentage more do women pay for out-of-pocket health care costs than men?

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4. Preventative health care is especially necessary for women of color, who are disproportionately affected by certain medical conditions.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 37 percent of Hispanic women and a third of Black women lacked health coverage in 2013, compared to 12 percent of White women. Similarly, Latina and Black women are significantly more likely to report not visiting a doctor in the past year due to cost than White women. But preventative health care visits are especially important for women of color because certain diseases affect them at a disproportionately high rate. For example, African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian and Native American women are two to three times more likely to develop lupus than White women. Thankfully, these race and gender-related health care gaps have begun to decrease recently, and a study by the Center for Global Policy Solutions showed that all major racial and ethnic groups reduced their uninsured rate at roughly twice the rate of White Americans since passage of the ACA.

Hispanic women, in particular, are what percentage less likely to report visiting a doctor or health care professional within the last year?

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5. Women’s participation in guiding research, services, and public policy have never been higher.

Up until recently, medical research largely excluded women from being test subjects, and data was not analyzed for differences in sex and gender. In 2001, however, the National Institutes of Health put forth the most comprehensive and inclusive policy and guidelines regarding women and minorities as subjects in clinical research to date. Today, many studies are invested in assessing women's health from childhood to adolescence to mid-life. In fact, the largest clinical research study ever conducted of either gender, the NIH's Women's Health Initiative, focuses on the health of post-menopausal women. It's doing some pretty important work, and it's even more important that we all — regardless of gender — support it. 

In 2014, what fraction of clinical trial participants were women?

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For more information, please visit befiercetakecontrol.org.

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