The health of women in New York City has improved greatly over the past decade, but many women still suffer from preventable conditions. In addition to differences in health between women and men, health disparities also exist among subgroups of women. Examining the status of women's health in subpopulations, such as racial/ethnic, economic, and age groups, highlights the health issues faced by the most vulnerable groups of women. We hope that these data will help all communities address the health needs of women in New York City.
In support of improving women's health, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, The Commonwealth Fund, and the Fund for Public Health in New York present this report, which utilizes the public health agenda set by Take Care New York: A Policy for a Healthier New York City as a roadmap for assessing women's health status. Released in March 2004, Take Care New York highlights the areas that meet the following criteria: they present a large disease burden (killing thousands of New Yorkers and causing hundreds of thousands of preventable illnesses or disabilities each year), they have been proven amenable to intervention and public action, and they can be best addressed through coordinated action by city agencies, public–private partnerships, health care providers, businesses, and individuals.
With this public health initiative, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene outlined 10 priority areas that, if addressed appropriately, could improve the health of all New Yorkers:
- Have a regular doctor or other health care provider
- Be tobacco-free
- Keep your heart healthy
- Know your HIV status
- Get help for depression
- Live free of dependence on alcohol and drugs
- Get checked for cancer
- Get the immunizations you need
- Make your home safe and healthy
- Have a healthy baby.
In each of these areas, Take Care New York assessed the current health status among all New Yorkers and, where possible, established measurable targets to be reached by 2008. For more information on Take Care New York, log on to www.nyc.gov/health.