Relating health policy to women's health outcomes

Jennifer P. Wisdom, Michelle Berlin, Jodi A. Lapidus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Individuals' social and economic circumstances, including socioeconomic status and medical care availability, are central to health outcomes, particularly for women. These factors are often mediated by governmental policies. This exploratory study found associations between women's health outcomes and state-level policies related to women's health. Outcomes were mortality rates for four leading causes of death for women in the US (heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and breast cancer), infant mortality, and a mental health outcome variable. State policies on key women's health issues were evaluated on the degree to which they adequately protected women's health. Our regression models accounted for significant variance in mortality rates and substantial variance in the mental health outcome. Policies affecting access to care (Medicaid eligibility and efforts to expand Medicaid) and community (environmental health tracking and violence against women) were significantly associated with mortality outcomes. State health policies should be examined further for their relationship to health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1776-1784
Number of pages9
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Oct 2005


  • Chronic disease
  • Infant mortality
  • Mortality rates
  • State-level health policy, USA
  • Women's health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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