2003 Regular Session

To: Rules

By: Senator(s) Little, Blackmon, Chaney, Dawkins, Dearing, Frazier, Gordon, Hamilton, Harden, Hyde-Smith, Jackson, Jordan, Smith, Stogner, Tollison, Walden, Walls, Williamson

Senate Concurrent Resolution 601

(As Adopted by Senate and House)


     WHEREAS, the 4th Annual National Women's Health Week is May 11-17, 2003, which starts on Mother's Day and ends on the following Saturday, a time when there is much attention focused on women; and

     WHEREAS, National Women's Health Week is a national effort by an alliance of organizations to raise awareness about manageable steps women can take to improve their health.  The focus is on the importance of incorporating simple preventative and positive health behaviors into everyday life, to encourage awareness about key health issues among all women; and

     WHEREAS, National Women's Health Week begins with participation in the first ever National Women's Check-Up Day on Monday, May 12, 2003, where community health centers, hospitals and other health providers across America will encourage women to receive preventive health services, in order to educate, screen and counsel underserved women on preventive health issues and prevent the onset of targeted health conditions.  Other events include health forums, walks, and women's health publication releases; and

     WHEREAS, the diseases to be targeted by the National Women's Health Week initiative in Mississippi due to their prevalence are breast cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, obesity and diabetes; and

     WHEREAS, breast cancer is the most common cancer among women, excluding cancers of the skin; the incidence and death rates from breast cancer increase with age and yet the percentage of women 40 and older with a recent mammogram in Mississippi is the lowest in the nation, ranging from 51.5% in Mississippi to 75.8% in Delaware, according to American Cancer Society statistics, for a recent mammogram and clinical breast examination, the percentages are even lower, ranging from 45.5% in Mississippi to 67.6% in Delaware; additionally, ethnicity is a factor in breast cancer statistics because African-American women are more likely to die from breast cancer than are white women, but after age 40, white women are more likely to be diagnosed; and

     WHEREAS, cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the No. 1 killer in the United States, claiming more lives each year than the next 5 leading causes of death combined; nearly 2,600 Americans die of CVD each day, an average of 1 death every 33 seconds and the prevalence is higher for women than for men, 1 in 29 women's deaths is from breast cancer while 1 in 2.4 women's deaths is from CVD; African-American and Mexican-American women have a higher CVD risk factor than white women of comparable socioeconomic status; the number of heart disease deaths per 100,000 women in Mississippi is 298 compared to 223 nationally; additionally, coronary heart disease rates in women after menopause are 2-3 times those of women the same age before menopause; the aging of the population in Mississippi will undoubtedly result in an increase incidence of chronic diseases, including coronary artery disease, heart failure and stroke; and

     WHEREAS, osteoporosis is a disease characterized by low bone mass leading to bone fragility and increases susceptibility to fractures; osteoporosis is a major public health threat, of the 10 million Americans estimated to have osteoporosis, 8 million are women (80%); women can lose up to 20% of their bone mass in the 5 to 7 years following menopause, making them more susceptible to osteoporosis; a national effort is needed to educate younger generations so they will have the opportunity to achieve and maintain optimal peak bone mass and reduce the risk of fractures later in life; and

     WHEREAS, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health, more Mississippians are overweight and diabetic now than ever before; the 2001 statistics show that 9.3% Mississippi adults have diabetes compared to 7.6% in 2000 and 26.6% of the state's adult population are obese compared to 25% in 2000; almost 190,000 adults in the state now have diabetes and an estimated 520,000 adults are obese; in middle-age and elderly African-American women, almost two-thirds are obese and more than one-third have diabetes, however, all age, race and gender groups are affected by this modern-day "epidemic"; also, studies have shown that many people in the early stages of developing diabetes do not know that they have the disease, and better access to primary health care is important in dealing with this disease; and

     WHEREAS, women in Mississippi need to be informed to take responsible actions to improve their own health, and the participation in National Women's Health Week in Mississippi will help underserved women gain access to important preventive health care services:

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That May 11-17, 2003, is hereby designated as "Women's Health Week in Mississippi" to raise awareness of the prevalent diseases affecting women in our state and celebrate the role of good health practices in the lives of women.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be forwarded to the State Board of Health, the Department of Human Services and the University of Mississippi Medical Center for distribution to appropriate women's groups and health organizations, businesses and social service agencies participating in these events, and be made available to the Capitol Press Corps.