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CT Scores Pluses and Minuses in Women's Health Study

December 20, 2010

HARTFORD, Conn. - When it comes to heart disease, the death rates for black, white and Hispanic women in Connecticut are all over the map. That's one finding of a national women's health study that breaks data down by state.

Danielle Garrett, health policy fellow at the National Women's Law Project, which helped with the study, says heart disease rates are among the disparities that jumped out.

"In Connecticut, black women have the highest coronary heart disease death rate, and it's much higher than white women, but Hispanic women actually have lower heart disease death rates than either black or white women."

She says the best way to address this and two-thirds of the other health problems noted in the study is through implementing the Obama administration's Affordable Care Act, referred to by some as "ObamaCare."

Garrett says the study highlights another problem.

"For women in Connecticut without health insurance - there are huge racial disparities."

Ten percent of white women in the state lack health insurance, and the figure for black women is more than twice that.

She adds that states vary greatly in their rankings in the study's 68 policy indicators, although overall, Connecticut's findings are considered better than average.

"States really can make a difference on some of these indicators, through both policy and public education and outreach."

Some of those indicators include eligibility for health insurance, access to care, mental health treatment and availability of family planning services.

The Connecticut data from the study are at hrc.nwlc.org

Melinda Tuhus, Public News Service - CT