July 21, 2024 3:21 am

Local News

Women’s Preventative Care in Michigan Highlights Demographic Gaps in Coverage 

Credit: iStock

Anzhe Zhang

recent analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation surveying women’s preventative care in Michigan found that though visitation rates for pap smears and mammograms were on the right schedule for many women before the pandemic, race and ethnicity continue to be major determinants as to which Michiganders are seeking medical care.

The CDC data, collected through surveys compiled between 2018 and 2020, found that Michigan had an overall 73 percent visitation rate for pap smears, and a 74 percent rate for mammograms for women aged 40 and older. 

Despite an overall high visitation rate, the state still trails behind the ideal 75 to 80 percent range for both tests, highlighting a need for the state to address major preventative care gaps between different races and ethnicities.

According to data, Non-Hispanic Black women had the highest visitation rate for pap smears at 79 percent, while having the second highest rate for mammograms at 81 percent. Meanwhile, the visitation rate for Hispanic women for pap smears was 75 percent, and 82 percent for mammograms. 

Non-Hispanic White women trail both demographics, with a 72 percent visitation rate for pap smears, and a 73 percent rate for mammograms.

American Indian/Alaska Native and Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander were two demographics that saw some of the state’s lowest visitation rates for both tests, with the former having a 55 percent rate for pap smears, and 62 percent rate for mammograms. Meanwhile, Asian and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander women had a 62 percent rate for pap smears, and a 71 percent rate for mammograms.

The differences in access to preventative care for women in the state highlights a growing health issue, following reports that Michiganders are seeking fewer health appointments due to the pandemic, with the level of missed care outpacing recovering visitation rates. 

Women’s health care is seeing more focus in the state amidst a nationwide increase in maternal mortality rates.