A woman's health status before pregnancy is critical for the health and wellbeing of the fetus and mother-to-be. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has set Healthy People 2020 national objectives for women of reproductive age, and young women are making important gains toward achieving some of those health goals, while some trends are less encouraging, as reported in a study published in Journal of Women’s Health, a peer-reviewed publication from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available on the Journal of Women’s Health website.
Pamela Xaverius, PhD and Joanne Salas, MPH, Saint Louis University School of Public Health and School of Medicine, MO, report substantial reductions in smoking and alcohol consumption (including drinking any alcohol and heavy drinking) among women in the U.S. ages 18-44 years. The authors analyzed data on preconception health indicators from over 500,000 women from all 50 states in the U.S. gathered between 2003-2010 from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
In the article "Surveillance of Preconception Health Indicators in Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System: Emerging Trends in the 21st Century," they also describe positive preconception health trends related to moderate or vigorous physical activity and a 68% increase in women having an influenza shot within the previous year. Health trends that have worsened and pose a potential threat to maternal and fetal health included binge alcohol drinking and having a chronic medical condition (e.g., diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, or obesity).
“While the trends in smoking, alcohol use, and influenza prevention have improved, the worsening in binge drinking and chronic medical conditions among reproductive aged women are important concerns,” says Susan G. Kornstein, MD, Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Women’s Health, Executive Director of the Virginia Commonwealth University Institute for Women’s Health, Richmond, VA, and President of the Academy of Women’s Health.
About the Journal
Journal of Women’s Health, published monthly, is a core multidisciplinary journal dedicated to the diseases and conditions that hold greater risk for or are more prevalent among women, as well as diseases that present differently in women. The Journal covers the latest advances and clinical applications of new diagnostic procedures and therapeutic protocols for the prevention and management of women’s healthcare issues. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Journal of Women’s Health website. Journal of Women’s Health is the Official Journal of the Academy of Women’s Health and the Society for Women’s Health Research.
About the Academy
Academy of Women’s Health is an interdisciplinary, international association of physicians, nurses, and other health professionals who work across the broad field of women’s health, providing its members with up-to-date advances and options in clinical care that will enable the best outcomes for their women patients. The Academy’s focus includes the dissemination of translational research and evidence-based practices for disease prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of women across the lifespan.