1932

Abstract

Women's health, and what we know about it, is influenced by social factors. From the exclusion of women's bodies in medical research, to the silence and stigma of menstruation and menopause, to the racism reflected in maternal mortality, the relevance of social factors is paramount. After a brief history of research on women's health, we review selected patterns, trends, and inequalities in US women's health. These patterns reveal US women's poor and declining longevity relative to those in other high-income countries, gaps in knowledge about painful and debilitating conditions that affect millions of women, and deep inequalities that underscore the need to redress political and structural features of US society that enhance health for some and diminish it for others. We close by describing the challenges and opportunities for future research, and the promise of a social determinants of health approach for advancing a multilevel, intersectional, and biosocial understanding of women's health.

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2022-07-29
2024-04-18
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