Delaware County Medical Society Summer/Fall 2020 - 12

FEATURE

The Expanded
Chronic Care Model:

Addressing Chronic-Disease Related Factors
Among Women of Reproductive Age
By James E. Plummer, DMgt, MBA. MSM

W

omen are said to have greater longevity. This
means that they are more likely than men to
live with disability and have unique health
concerns that are a factor of their genderbased roles (Digiacomo, Green, Rodrigues, Mulligan, &
Davidson, 2015). In a study conducted in Australia on the
challenges faced when developing a gender-based approach
to chronic conditions and women's health, the authors alleged
that women continue to experience inferior health outcomes
across several conditions, despite human rights advances and
average longevity in many developed countries as surpassing
men by several years. On February 24, 2011, the United
Nations launched the UN Women, an entity for gender
equality and the empowerment of women (Digiacomo, Green,
Rodrigues, Mulligan, & Davidson, 2015). The move was an
important step towards addressing the need to focus on the
unique needs of women's health and how it affects societal
outcomes. Pregnancy and reproductive-related illnesses and
complications make women more vulnerable than men.
Barfield & Warner (2011) note that pregnancy-related illnesses
and deaths resulting from chronic disease may be increasing.
Older women have been found to have a higher prevalence of
chronic medical conditions, leading to higher risk of adverse
pregnancy outcomes. Based on the Pregnancy Mortality
Surveillance System (PMSS) of the CDC, the causes of
maternal deaths are shifting from the traditional direct causes
such as hemorrhage and infection to more chronic conditions,
particularly cardiovascular diseases (Barfield & Warner,
2011). Chronic disease-related factors such as asthma, high
cholesterol, and diabetes are increasingly affecting women of
reproductive age.

10 DELAWARE COUNTY MEDICINE & HEALTH

summer/fall 2020



Delaware County Medical Society Summer/Fall 2020

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