Providing The Tools To Improve Women's Health Care
As we mark National Women's Health Week, which began on Mother's Day and continues until May 20, it's important to underscore AHRQ's ongoing commitment to addressing women's health care needs.
About 250,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year; despite advances in detection and treatment, 40,000 die of the disease. About half of women over age 50 will break a bone because of osteoporosis. Millions must eventually deal with urinary incontinence, a condition significantly more common in women than men. And many women must confront complex decisions about gender-specific surgeries, such as whether to give birth via cesarean section or whether or not to have a hysterectomy.
As the Nation's doctors, nurses, and other health professionals stand beside women as they tackle these challenges, AHRQ's role is to develop and disseminate reliable, practical evidence to support the best possible outcomes.
For example, AHRQ provides online decision aids for patients to work with their clinicians when thinking about treatment options.
AHRQ also offers research summaries for clinicians, which provide bottom-line treatment information on topics such as core-needle biopsy for breast abnormalities, management of post-partum hemorrhage, and management of binge-eating disorder, a condition more common among women.
In addition to providing resources to patients and clinicians on women-specific health topics, the Agency continues to collect and analyze data to help the health care community understand trends related to some of the most important women's health issues. Statistical briefs have explored:
- The increasing number of women choosing to undergo double mastectomies
- Rising rates of preeclampsia or eclampsia, particularly among black women
- The declining number of women choosing removal of both their uterus and one or more ovaries
- Geographic variations in the U.S. related to teens giving birth in the hospital.
Women's health needs are unique. At AHRQ, we promise to continue doing our part to support women's health, whether it involves tracking trends or creating tools to help clinicians, researchers, and patients contribute to the cause.
Let's make every week Women's Health Week.
Dr. Arnold is Deputy Director of AHRQ.
Page originally created May 2017