10 Worst States For Women's Health

07/30/2012 08:43 am ET | Updated Jul 31, 2012

By Anne Harding

People, regardless of gender, often face an uphill battle to stay healthy in the U.S., which came in 50th out of 221 nations for life expectancy in the latest edition of the CIA’s World Factbook.

But it can be a particular challenge for women. More than 300 U.S. counties saw a decline in women’s life expectancy from 1987 to 2007, while just six counties showed a similar decline for men. Here’s our list of 10 states where women are especially hard hit by poverty, obesity, and high rates of smoking, and often struggle for access to family planning, prenatal care, mammograms, and Pap tests.

10 Worst States for Women’s Health

To compile this list, used data from several sources, including the Kaiser Family Foundation, the National Women’s Law Institute, and the Guttmacher Institute.

We looked at more than a dozen indicators, including the percentage of women getting first trimester prenatal care, the percentage of women who were up-to-date on cervical and breast cancer screening, maternal mortality rates, and the percentage of women living in poverty.

States that were in the top 10 on these indicators were most likely to be included in our list; states are not listed in any particular order.

Suggest a correction