Research Information Network on Women and Girls in Illinois
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Health and Aging

Welcome to the Health and Aging section of the Research Information Network [RIN]. In this section you can find reports, statistics, organizations, and government agencies that deal with women's health and aging.

See also Health in Illinois and Health in Chicago.

There are also some sites here that contain excellent search engines. If you plan to use these, please refer to that site's "How to Search" section.

NOTE: Sites like that of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) are so large that for RIN we have selected a few reports, sites, and programs to highlight. Please do not think that we have given you an exhaustive list for these major sites. To get the most out of these sites, you will need to do some digging on your own. They usually have their own internal search engine.

If you still have questions, please refer to the "How to Use the RIN" page.

Happy researching!


Health Characteristics of Diverse Women
Health Promotion and Preventive Strategies
Menstrual, Reproductive, and Sexual Health
Physical Diseases and Health Conditions
Mental Health and Illnesses
Organizations for General Information

Health Characteristics of Diverse Women

United States

The Office on Women's Health National Women's Health Indicators Database
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health provides access to women's health data by race and ethnicity.

Lesbian Health Issues
Source: Institute of Medicine, "Lesbian Health: Current Assessment and Directions for the Future," ed. Andrea Solarz, 1999.


Population Action International (PAI)
"Dedicated to advancing policies and programs that slow population growth in order to enhance the quality of life for all people. PAI advocates the expansion of voluntary family planning, other reproductive health services, and educational and economic opportunities for girls and women."

Health Promotion and Preventive Strategies

United States

TIPS: Tobacco Information and Prevention Source
From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Office on Smoking and Health, which "is responsible for leading and coordinating strategic efforts aimed at preventing tobacco use among youth, promoting smoking cessation, and protecting nonsmokers from environmental tobacco smoke." The TIPS page includes links to the Surgeon General's Reports related to tobacco, the Smoking and Health Database search engine, and facts categorized by topic.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health
OWH "works to redress the inequities in research, health care services, and education that have placed the health of women at risk, coordinating women's health research, health care services, policy, and public and health care professional education across the agencies of the HHS, collaborating with other government organizations, and consumer and health care professional groups." Sections include the Women's Health Events Calendar and Federal Women's Programs.

Menstrual, Reproductive, and Sexual Health

Alan Guttmacher Institute
The Alan Guttmacher Institute addresses reproductive rights. It seeks to protect the reproductive choices of all women and men by supporting their ability to obtain the information and services needed to achieve their full human rights.
The Institute aims to inform individual decision-making, encourage scientific inquiry and enlighten public debate.
Topics of focus include: Abortion, Law and Public Policy, Pregnancy and Birth, Prevention and Contraception, Sexual Behavior, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Youth. All topics have lengthy discussions and are well-cited.

Facts on Teen Sexuality
Source: U.S. Public Health Service, Office on Women's Health, "The Health of Adolescent Girls Fact Sheet," 1999. See also the online fact sheet.

National Abortion Federation
Founded in 1977, the National Abortion Federation (NAF) is the professional association of
abortion providers in the United States and Canada. NAF members provide the broadest spectrum of abortion expertise in North America. Members include some 400 nonprofit and private clinics, women’s health centers,
Planned Parenthood facilities, and private physicians, as well as nationally and internationally recognized researchers, clinicians, and educators at major universities and teaching hospitals. The site offers accurate medical information on pregnancy and abortions. Abortion Fact Sheets report on state and national action on abortion issues. Information on ways to take action is provided. The News/Media Center provides press releases about abortion statistics. Other headings include: Clinic Violence, Resources for Providers, and Providers and Patients Speak.

National Abortion Rights Action League
The National Abortion Rights Action League directly addresses abortion rights and birth control. Its mission is to seek better access to contraception as well as other kinds of reproductive health care and information.
On the site you can access voting records and fact sheets that include statistics on many topics.The site provides information for each state. Other headings include: Choice for America (Television Campaign), Elections: Choice 2000, Pregnant? Need Help?, Media Resources, Press Releases, Publications, NARAL Affiliates, Ten Minute Activist.

Planned Parenthood
Planned Parenthood is a family planning organization founded in 1916 that advocates public policy allowing women to decide whether and when to have a child. Planned Parenthood provides education about reproductive issues and promotes research in reproductive health care. The heading Sexual Health offers infprmation on the following: Planned Parenthood Health Centers, Birth Control, Emergency Contraception, STDs and Safer Sex, Pregnancy and Parenting, Abortion, Teen Issues, and Women's Health. The Women's Health heading lists: Breast Cancer (self-exam info, objective info), Gynecological exam, Infertility, Lesbian Health, Menopause, Pregnancy and Parenting, Safer Sex, Women's Guide to sexuality, Vaginitis. The site also provides research information on the following: Abortion, Birth Control, Family Planning, Planned Parenthood, STDs, Teen Pregnancy and Abortion. Ways to contact congress and opportunities to make donations are provided as are articles and statements about relevent news.

Population Action International (PAI)
Population Action International is commited to advancing universal access to family planning and related health services, and to educational and economic opportunities, especially for girls and women. PAI's strategies promise to improve the lives of individual women and their families, while also slowing the world’s population growth and helping preserve the environment.

PAI Search

Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States (SIECUS)
SIECUS is a national non-profit organization which affirms that sexuality is a natural and healthy part of living.
SIECUS develops, collects, and disseminates information, promotes comprehensive education about sexuality and advocates the right of individuals to make responsible sexual choices. The sites' School Health Education Clearinghouse provides an lots of information on Coordinated School Health Programs, Sexuality Education, HIV Prevention, Education, and Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention. There is a section teaching parents about parenting skilss about sexuality and a teen section teaching teens about sex issues. Access to recent research and press releases is provided as is information about positions of faith communities on sex education. The section for policy makers and advocates includes the following headings: American Support of Sex Education, Policy Updates, Advocates Report, Community Advocacy, State Sexuality Laws, Abstinence-Only. A search engine is available.

Physical Diseases and Health Conditions

The Office on Women's Health National Women's Health Indicators Database
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office on Women's Health provides access to women's health data by race and ethnicity.

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion: Chronic Disease Prevention
Diseases addressed include Alzheimer's, arthritis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive lung disease, diabetes, epilepsy, iron overload, oral diseases and conditions, and osteoporosis. Specific populations include women, mothers and infants, and older adults.

Percentage of Deaths from the Leading Causes in Women, 65 Years and Older
Source: U.S. Public Health Service, Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health, "Older Women's Health Fact Sheet," April 1995. See also the online fact sheet.

Cancer Net
· Whole network on cancer only-including female type cancers;
· Offers in-depth, objective information about all types of cancer;
· Includes links to Cancer Trials and Cancer Information System;

Headings of Cancernet include: First-time visitors, Types of Cancer (lots of information on breast cancer),
Treatment Options, Clinical Trials, Genetics, Causes, Risk Factors, Prevention, Testing for Cancer, Coping with Cancer, Support and Resources, Cancer Literature, Statistics, PDQ-a cancer database

Cancer Prevention and Control
CDC's Division of Cancer Prevention and Control (DCPC) "implements programs for the nation. The division serves as a leader for nationwide cancer prevention and control and as a partner with state health agencies and other key groups."

National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP)
Established by the passage of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Mortality Prevention Act of 1990, the NBCCEDP "has provided more than 2 million screening exams to underserved women, including older women, women with low incomes, and women of racial and ethnic minority groups."

CDC's Diabetes and Public Health Resource
The Division of Diabetes Translation "translates scientific research findings into health promotion, disease prevention, and treatment strategies."

Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD)
The Center for Research on Women with Disabilities (CROWD) is a research center that focuses on issues
related to health, aging, civil rights, abuse, and independent living. CROWD's purpose is to promote, develop, and
disseminate information to expand the life choices of women with disabilities so that they may fully participate in
community life. Researchers develop and evaluate models for interventions to address specific problems effecting women with disabilities. Topic headings include: About CROWD, Links to Other Research on Women with Disabilities, National Study of Women with Physical Disabilities (summaries of report findings on specific issues), Health and Wellness for Women with Disabilities (includes information on chronic conditions, health maintenance, mental health, reproductive health, sexuality, spirituality), Access to Health Care by Women with Disabilities, Abuse and Women with Disabilities, Community Living, Educational Materials, Messages for Friends

Mental Health and Illnesses

Depression Research Fact Sheet
Source: National Institute of Mental Health, 1999; available online here.

Policy: Policy and legal issues related to health/aging

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (formerly the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research)
From "the lead agency charged with supporting research designed to improve the quality of health care, reduce its cost, and broaden access to essential services. AHRQ's broad programs of research bring practical, science-based information to medical practitioners and to consumers and other health care purchasers." Includes data and surveys.

Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation is an independent philanthropy focusing on the major health care issues facing the nation. The Foundation is an independent voice and source of facts and analysis for policymakers, the media, the health care community, and the general public. The Foundation focuses on 1) health policy-a wide range of issues concerning low income and vulnerable populations including women's health policy; 2) Media and public education; 3) health and development in South Africa. Headings include: HJKFF, Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and Uninsured, Kaiser Media Fellowships in Health, California Health Policy, Entertainment Media, Health Care Marketplace, HIV/AIDS, Media Partnership and Studies, Medicaid/Medicare, Minority Health, Public Opinion, Reproductive and Sexual Health (includes fact sheets, issue updates, surveys, and archives on Adolescent Sexual Health, Contraception, Sexual Education, STDs and Unintended Pregnancy), State Health Facts, Uninsured, Women's Health Policy (includes archives on health coverage, managed care, Medicaid and women, Medicare and women, reproductive health, and welfare policy), South Africa, Daily Reproductive Health Report, Daily Health Policy Report, Daily HIV/AIDS Report

Insurance Inequities for Women and Men
Source: NARAL Foundation, "Insurance Inequities: A State by State Review of Contraceptive Coverage," February 1999.

National Women's Health Network
Founded in 1975, the National Women's Health Network is a national public interest membership organization dedicated to women's health. Its mission is to give women a greater voice in the health care system. Policy papers, testimonies, advocacy groups, and network news are made available focusing on the following six advocacy topics:
· Breast Cancer;
· Menopause, Osteoporosis, Hormone Replacement Therapy
· Health Care and Welfare Reform
· HIV/AIDS and Women
· Safe Drugs and Devices
· Reproductive Health
The website also provides help in finding health information and internship opportunities

National Women's Law Center
Contains copy of Women Health Report Card broken down by states, including Illinois. In addition to health policy, the NWLC advocates for these areas: athletics, child care, child and family support, education, employment, sexual harassment, social security, and women in the military.

Office of Women's Health (OWH)- FDA information for women
Established in 1994 as a voice for women's concerns, the site provides useful FDA information and the OWH's influence on the FDA's jurisdiction over drugs, medical devices, vaccines, blood and tissue products, foods and cosmetics. The OWH funds research and educational outreach programs on women's health issues. It encourage industry to include women in all of their trials and analysis of clinical data for gender differences. Headings on the website include: About the Office of Women's Health, Regulatory Guidance, Scientific Projects, OWH Update, Press Releases, Publications, Health Topics, Take Time To Care

Organizations: Working with women and girls in the US on health/aging issues

American Medical Association Women's Association
The American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) is an organization of 10,000 women physicians and medical students dedicated to serving as the unique voice for women's health and the advancement of women in medicine. Topics include: Smoking Prevention, Osteoporosis, Violence Against Women, Heart Disease, Gender Equity, Breast Cancer, Abortion Rights, Reproductive Health, Women's Health Care Advocacy and Research, Health Care Access, Educational Initiatives, Student Information

Association of Reproductive Health Professionals
Founded 1963. "An interdisciplinary association composed of professionals who provide reproductive health services or education, conduct reproductive health research, or influence reproductive health policy."

Center for Young Women's Health
The Children's Hospital of Boston recognized the urgent need for education, clinical care, research, and health care advocacy for adolescent girls and young women and created the Center for Young Women's Health, committed to improving the health and well being of adolescent girls. The target audience is adolescent women. The website has the following headings: Young Women's Resource Center, Health Information (in English and Spanish), Clinical Services, Clinical Education, Adolescent Research, and Search. Health issues covered include: Piercing, Endometriosis, Health Care, Nutrition, Eating Disorders, Gynecological Exam, Menstruation, Scoliosis, Sex and Birth Control, Vaginal Agenesis, Smoking, Vaginitis/STDs, Cancer, X-rays/ Ultrasounds

Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services, is recognized as the lead federal agency for protecting the health and safety of people - at home and abroad, providing credible information to enhance health decisions, and promoting health through strong partnerships. CDC serves
as the national focus for developing and applying disease prevention and control, environmental health, and health promotion and education activities designed to improve the health of the people of the United States. The site can be searched from A to Z on women's health topics. Topics include: Abortion, Assisted Reproductive Technology, Family planning, HIV/AIDs, Hysterectomy, SIDs, Pregnancy, From Data to Action. Searches locate articles and statistics.

National Institutes of Health
Being a federal government source of all health-related information, the National Institutes of Health is the Federal focal point for medical research in the U.S. The Health Information Heading includes the following:
· NIH Health Information Index 2000- an A to Z subject guide
· Medline Plus- NIH National Library of Medicine
· Clinical Trials-information on private and government medical studies involving patients
· Health hotlines
· Health Literature References
· Special Programs
· Other Resources
Other Headings include: Grants, News, Science, Institutes, About NIH

The National Women's Health Information Center (NWHIC)
From the U.S. Public Health Service, Office on Women's Health Information administered under the DHHS. "Provides a gateway to the vast array of Federal and other women's health information resources." It links consumers to a wide variety of women's health-related material developed by the Department of Health and Human Services, other Federal agencies, and private sector resources. Headings include (among others): Healthy Pregnancy, Women with Disbilities, For the Media, Health Professionals, Body Image, En Espanol, Men's Health, Minority Health Information, Health Information for Special Groups, Dictionaries and Journals, Guest Education Program, Funding Opportunities, New Archives, Press Releases, Hot Topics in Congress, and a Search Site by health topic, organization, or publication.

National Women's Health Resource Center
The National Women's Health Resource Center is a non-profit organization, founded in 1988, that helps women make informed decisions about their health. It is the national clearinghouse for women's health information and has a toll-free hotline number. The site includes a library from which you can buy books and newsletters by topic. The Health Center lists a variety of health topics and gives comprehensive information on the topic including overview, diagnosis, treatment, prevention, facts to know, questions to ask, and key questions and answers. Other headings include interactive discussions, the latest health news, and a directory of women-friendly health services, national organizations, clinics and health departments.

Society for Women's Health Research
The Society for Women's Health aims to improve the health of women through research. The Society's goals are to seek greater research funding for women's health concerns, to promote the study and acceptance of gender-based biology in the scientific community, to enhance recruitment and retention of women in clinical trials, and to increase research funding for women's health research. The General Women's Health section includes: Heart Disease, Lung Disease, Breast Cancer, Gynecological Cancers, Violence Against Women, Osteoporosis, Menopause, Mental Illness, Eating Disorders, STDs, HIV/AIDs. The Public Education section addresses issues such as Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Overactive Bladder, etc.

Office for Women's Affairs, Indiana University
Circumference in inches of the biceps of the G.I. Joe Extreme doll introduced last year, if he were six feet tall...27.3 [1]
Chances that a U.S. Catholic hospital does not provide emergency contraception to rape victims...4 in 5 [1]
[1] Office for Women's Affairs, Indiana University, "Majority Report Index," Majority Report 13, no. 1 (October 1999), p. 8, (14 June 2000).

Date Last Updated: July 2005

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