This week and all year, CMS Office of Minority Health is highlighting disparities in women’s health across all minority populations to advance health equity. Heart disease continues to be the leading cause of death for women in the U.S., with more than 60 million women living with some form of the disease. In 2021, 22.6% of deaths in Black women were attributed to heart disease, compared to 18% of deaths in White women.

Aside from these racial disparities in chronic diseases, social, economic, and environmental factors all affect the ways women experience and access preventive care, like health screenings. In 2021, only 67.5% of women ages 50 – 74 with lower incomes reported recent breast cancer screenings, compared to 78.7% of women with higher incomes in the same age range. Furthermore, White women with Medicare fee-for-service have the highest breast cancer screening rate (35%), compared with Black (32%), Asian American/Pacific Islander (25%), Hispanic (22%), and American Indian/Alaska Native enrollees (21%).

Nurses: National Women’s Health Week emphasizes the importance of making health care accessible for all women and girls, regardless of their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic background, or geographic community. 

For Your Practice: CMS OMH Resources you can use to support the health of the women in your community.

View the National Institutes of Health Office of Research on Women’s Health website to learn about the latest women’s health research.