Health Disparities Among Women Veterans

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Introduction Within the last ten years, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has begun to measure and collect data on gender-neutral health screenings to determine if there were any gender specific health disparities among the veteran population. The findings of the study showed some significant disparities between sexes. In an article recently written by Whitehead, Czarnogorski, Wright, Hayes, & Haskell (2014), and published in the American Journal of Public Health, disparities among women veterans were explored as well as the statistical data surrounding the inequities analyzed. There is an urgency needed in addressing these health disparities among women veterans, as they are the fastest growing new population within the VA health …show more content…

Implications of Health Inequalities Currently, Heart disease is the leading cause of death among women in the United States (Haskell et al., 2014). In the 2016 Update of the Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics report from the American Heart Association, women, in general, have a 32% prevalence rate for LDL issues vs. 31% for men. Likewise, in older women vs older men, the prevalence for hypertension rates for women were 57% vs. 54% in men (Mozaffarian et al., 2016). Within the VA, there is an even bigger gap for management of LDL’s and heart disease. 79.47% of women vs. 88.89% of men have LDL levels within the normal limits. Similarly, 79.34% of women vs. 85.67% of men with diabetes had an LDL within normal limits (Whitehead et al., 2014). Both high LDL and hypertension are proven risk factors for heart disease and stroke. When paired with diabetes, risk of peripheral artery disease, heart failure, and irregular heartbeat can also be factors (Mozaffarian et al., 2016). Mental health inequities cannot be overlooked. Approximately 50% of 6,287 women within the VA reported needing mental health services. 84% received care and of those, only 48.8% were

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