Women's Health Initiatives: Emerging Issues

Lifespan Health
Public Health

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​Women's Health Initiatives reviews 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 preventative screening services for women.

Nebraska Trends

Support for Pregnant and Parenting Teens: WHI is the lead on this two-year (2017-2019) project. The project will serve pregnant and parenting youth with a strong focus on those with experience in the foster care system.

Line graph of Teen Births in Nebraska 

*Graph provided by NE Office of Health Disparities and Health Equity

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) 

Revised Stroke Risk Factors for Women

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 (opioids).
  • 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