New study compares women's health in US to other high-income countries

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) - According to a recent study, more than one third of women in America skip needed medical care because of costs.

The Commonwealth Fund recently released statistics on where women in the United States stand on health, comparing it to 10 other countries that are high-income, in terms of access to health care and health status.

The study said women are more likely to die in pregnancy and childbirth in America than other countries. The US ranks third for highest rates of caesarean sections.

America is also first on the list for highest rate of emotional distress.

"I think an important part of women's health is just remembering to take care of yourself. So many women are givers, and that is really fantastic, but they have to remember to take care of themselves too," said Brianna Bodily, the spokeswoman for the South Central Public Health District. "I don't mean bubble baths, as nice as that is, that's not the self care that I'm talking about."

Bodily means making sure to eat the right foods, getting some exercise and resting.

"Those kind of little, preventive steps can go a long way in things like mental health. If you're not sick, you have less to worry about, less anxiety. You can handle your daily life better," she said.

The study also shows that females in the United States are second for higher breast cancer screening rates at 80 percent. While that number is high for the nation, Bodily said it's not so high in Idaho.

"In Idaho, we have 69 percent of our women who are actually getting regular breast screenings and 72 percent of women who are getting regular cervical cancer screenings," she continued. "Those are cancers that are easily preventable if you get those screenings and if you can catch them early. So, we can do better."

The Gem State is ranked 50th in the nation for breast cancer screening and 51st for cervical cancer, according to Idaho Health and Welfare.

In the end, Bodily urges women to think about themselves.

"Give yourself enough time to relax. Every once in a while, have you time, or me time. However you want to put it," she said. "So, that you have that kind resistance when you come across some of the bigger things."

For more on the study and how it is conducted, visit the Commonwealth Fund website.

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