Women's Health USA 2007
Photographs of women's faces
Health Services Utilization
Preventive Care

Counseling, education, and screening can help prevent or minimize the effects of many serious health conditions. In 2004, females of all ages made 535 million physician office visits. Of these visits, 18.6 percent were for preventive care, including prenatal care, screenings, and insurance examinations.1

Routine Pap smears, which detect the early signs of cervical cancer, are recommended within 3 years of initiation of sexual activity, or by age 21. In 2004, 5.3 percent of all physician visits made by women aged 18 or older included a Pap smear. This rate was higher among the younger age groups, and occurred in 9.9 percent of office visits made by women aged 1824 years compared to only 5.2 percent of visits by women aged 4564 and 1.2 percent of visits made by women aged 65 years and older.

Among women 40 and older, 3.9 percent of all office visits included a mammogram, which is recommended every 12 years to screen for breast cancer among this age group. The proportion of office visits including a mammogram was highest among the younger age groups: 5.6 and 5.7 percent of visits, respectively, among women aged 4049 years and 5059 years, compared to 1.7 percent among women 75 years and older.

Vaccination is another important preventive measure. Vaccination for influenza is generally recommended for young children, older adults, and adults with chronic health conditions. In 2005, 60.5 percent of women aged 65 and older reported receiving a flu vaccine in the past year. Pneumonia vaccine is also recommended for older adults and people with certain health conditions. In 2005, almost 60 percent of women aged 65 and older reported ever receiving the vaccine. Non-Hispanic White women were most likely to have ever received the pneumonia vaccine (63.2 percent), compared to 28.5 percent of Hispanic and 35.4 percent of Asian women.

1 Hing E, Cherry DK, Woodwell DA. National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey: 2004 Summary. Advance Data from Vital and Health Statistics, No. 374, June 2006. http://www.cdc.gov. Viewed 4/18/07.


Back to top


Women's Health USA 2007 is not copyrighted. Readers are free to duplicate and use all or part of the information contained on this page. Suggested Citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Women's Health USA 2007. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2007.