Why Are Women In The US More Likely To Die From Preventable Causes Than Other Countries?

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American women are more likely to diefrom a preventable health cause than women in other developed countries.

The reason? High healthcare costs deter them from seeking medical help. 

The Commonwealth Fundreleased a report Tuesday that looked at women’s health in 11 high-income countries. It found that American women had the highest mortality rate at reproductive ages. The results were consistent with previous findings that found the maternal mortality rate in the U.S. ranks higher than other developed peers. 

According to the report, only 26% of American women reported feeling satisfied with their healthcare. This was more than twice as low as the next lowest scoring country, Sweden, where 58% of women surveyed said they were content with the quality of their healthcare.

At the same time, American women were also more likely to suffer from more physical and mental conditions than those in other countries. Nearly 20% of women reported suffering from multiple chronic conditions while another 58% of U.S. women reported mental health care needs, the highest among all other nations included.  

Like previous reports on maternal mortality and healthcare in the U.S., it was found that these numbers also differed when race is taken into account. For example, the Commonwealth Fund found that Black American women were nearly three times more likely than white women to die from maternal complications. This disparity was also found in the United Kingdom where Black Britons were four times more likely than white women to die in pregnancy and childbirth.

The report zeroed in on the roots of this problem and the cost of healthcare in the U.S. came in front and center. 

Just as the U.S. has consistently scored higher on maternal mortality in the developed world, so too has it outscored others in the amount spent on healthcare per capita by its citizens. In the report, U.S. women paid the second most in out-of-pocket healthcare costs after Switzerland. 

One reason that complicates the problem for American women is the higher number of uninsured citizens. About 11% remain uninsured and these rates are as high as 22% for Hispanic women in 2020, according to a report in November by the Kaiser Family Foundation

Due to higher costs associated with accessing healthcare, more American women (49%) report skipping out on needed care.

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