Low-Income, Minority Women Face Health Disparities In California

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Low-income and minority women in California are more likely to be in poor health, obese and uninsured than whites and higher-income women, according to a University of California Center for Health Policy Research report released on Thursday, the Fresno Bee reports. The report, "Women's Health in California," is based on more than 50,000 telephone interviews conducted in 2001 and 2005.

The report found that:

* Statewide, low-income Hispanic women are three times more likely to be uninsured than whites;

* Low-income women are four times more likely than higher-income women to be uninsured;


* Low-income women between ages 18 and 64 are three times more likely than higher-income women to report that they are in fair to poor health;

* Low-income women are more likely to have health conditions such as arthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes, which affect their quality of life, compared with higher-income women; and

* More than 20% of low-income women statewide are obese and 25.5% are overweight.

Erin Peckham, a researcher at the center and author of the report, said, "People might want to do better with their health, but the lack of money, the lack of medical care and the lack of access in low-income neighborhoods to healthy foods and safe physical activity are the things that low-income people in Fresno and the Valley areas face." She added, "Bottom line, if you're poor or a minority, you are potentially in trouble health-wise. California needs to renew its efforts at seeking a solution to our lack of health insurance overall" (Anderson, Fresno Bee, 8/7).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign up for email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. © 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.