A recent report card on the health of women and children across the country is out, and our state didn’t fare as well as we would have liked. Arizona finished 39th overall, but that is a slight jump from a year ago when we were ranked 43rd.
The Eastern Arizona Courier wrote that the report, ” examined 62 different indicators of health that span everything from a person’s environment to the level of care received. The report was able to determine areas in which the state improved during 2017 and areas where there’s still a great deal of work to do.”
Arizona made progress in the past year with the decline of smoking among women aged 18-44, with only 11.7 percent recorded as smokers, a 13-percent drop from the previous report. Uninsured women also saw a decrease of 29 percent in the same age group, taking it from 18.2 percent to 13 percent.
There was also a decline in tobacco use among children ages 12-17, and a drop in childhood obesity in ages 10-17.
According to KTAR-News, “More than 23 percent of children in Arizona live in poverty, in addition to the high levels of air pollution and the low number of mental health providers in the state.”
The report highlighted several key areas of strengths and weaknesses that affected the health of women and children in our state, including:
- Low prevalence of smoking among women
- Low prevalence of tobacco use during pregnancy
- Low prevalence of tobacco use among adolescents
- Low prevalence of dental visits among women
- Low percentage of infants exclusively breastfed for six months
- High prevalence of 2+ adverse childhood experiences
As to the last point, a high prevalence of adverse childhood experiences, Arizona finished dead last in that area of the report. From KPNX-TV in Phoenix.
The report says a higher percentage of Arizona children are faced with adversities or traumatic experiences than any other state’s children….
According to the report, 30.6 percent of Arizona children were faced with two or more hardships last year. That’s nearly 10 percent above the national average of 21.7.
These adversities include, according to the report, divorce, living with someone with a drug or alcohol problem, living with someone who is mental ill, suicidal or severely depressed, witnessing domestic violence, parent in jail or served time in jail, death of a parent and subjected to unfair treatment due to race and ethnicity.
Share your thoughts on this latest report and how, you believe, we can begin to move the needle to help our state take a significant jump in the national rankings. Finding new and innovative ways to drive better health in our state is another way we are working toward our long-term goal of one day making Arizona the Healthiest State in the Nation!