Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Women's Health Initiatives
Women's Health Initiatives

Emerging Issues

Women's Health Initiatives researches, monitors and reports on emerging trends in women's health. The following selections are brief summaries of trending health issues, including: health screening schedules, stroke risk factors, drug abuse, birth rates and mandated preventative screening services for women.

NEW2015 Emerging Trends in Women's Health

Affordable Care Act: 22 Covered Preventive Services for Women
State of Women's Coverage: Health Plan Violations of the Affordable Care Act
The Affordable Care Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President on March 23, 2010. There are eight new prevention-related health services (marked with an asterisk*) that must be covered, with no cost-sharing in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012.

  1. Anemia screening on a routine basis for pregnant women
  2. Bacteriuria urinary tract or other infection screening for pregnant women
  3. BRCA counseling about genetic testing for women at higher risk
  4. Breast Cancer Mammography screenings every 1 to 2 years for women over 40
  5. Breast Cancer Chemoprevention counseling for women at higher risk
  6. Breastfeeding comprehensive support and counseling from trained providers, as well as access to breast feeding supplies, for pregnant and nursing women*
  7. Cervical Cancer screening for sexually active women
  8. Chlamydia Infection screening for younger women and other women at higher risk
  9. Contraception: Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling, not including abortifacient drugs*
  10. Domestic and interpersonal violence screening and counseling for all women*
  11. Folic Acid supplements for women who may become pregnant
  12. Gestational diabetes screening for women 24 to 28 weeks pregnant and those at high risk of developing gestational diabetes*
  13. Gonorrhea screening for all women at higher risk
  14. Hepatitis B screening for pregnant women at their first prenatal visit
  15. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) screening and counseling for sexually active women*
  16. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) DNA Test: high risk HPV DNA testing every three years for women with normal cytology results who are 30 or older*
  17. Osteoporosis screening for women over age 60 depending on risk factors
  18. Rh Incompatibility screening for all pregnant women and follow-up testing for women at higher risk
  19. Tobacco Use screening and interventions for all women, and expanded counseling for pregnant tobacco users
  20. Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) counseling for sexually active women*
  21. Syphilis screening for all pregnant women or other women at increased risk
  22. Well-woman visits to obtain recommended preventive services*
Revised Mammography Recommendations
Revised Pap Smear Recommendations
  • Women ages 21-29: Pap smear (cytology) every 3 years
  • Women ages 21-65, Pap smear (cytology) every 3 years, or Pap smear (cytology) with HPV co-testing every 5 years. 
    SOURCE:U.S Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF)
Updated Stroke Risk Factors for Women
  • High blood pressure (High BP before pregnancy, preeclampsia)
  • Migraine Headache with aura
  • Smokers Over 75 years old with atrial fibrillation
  • Diabetes
    SOURCE:American Heart Association /American Stroke Association
Aging:Why Everything You Think About Aging May Be Wrong
Decrease in Teen Birth Rates in U.S. in 2013
  • A CDC report showed a 10% decline in the birth rate among 15 to 19-year-olds, from 29.4 births for every 1,000 teens in 2012 to 26.6 in 2013.
  • The birth rate for women in their early 20s also hit a historic low in 2013, while the birth rate increased for women aged 35 to 44 last year.
    SOURCE: USA Today (5/29/14), Reuters (5/29/14).
Increase in Maternal Mortality in the U.S.
  • In the United States, the maternal mortality ratio per 100,000 live births increased from 12 in 1990 to 28 in 2013.
    SOURCE: M. Brooks,  "Fewer Women Dying During Childbirth Globally U.S. Lagging,"  M. Brooks,  May 2014.
Drug Use/Abuse Trends
  • Currently, over 4 million women in the U.S. use drugs.
  • Nine million women have used illegal drugs in the past year and 3.7 million women have used prescription drugs for nonmedical reason this past year.
  • Over 28,000 (70%) of AIDS cases in women are drug related (direct drug use or sexual contact with someone who uses drugs).
  • At least 70% of women who use drugs have been sexually abused by the age of 16 and many of these women had at least one parent that abused drugs. 
    SOURCE:National Institute on Drug Abuse
  • Drug overdose death rates in the U.S. have more than tripled since 1990. In 2008 more than 36,000 people died from drug overdoses and most of these were caused by prescription drugs.
  • Nearly 75% prescription drug overdoses are caused by prescription painkillers (opiods).
  • About 50% of prescription painkillers deaths involve at least one other drug including benzodiazepines, cocaine, and heroin and alcohol.
    SOURCE:Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 WHI Home

Documents in PDF PDF format require the use of Adobe Acrobat Reader,
which can be downloaded for free from
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Good Life. Great Mission.