Please note: This site refers to the work of the Center of Excellence via a grant from the federal Office on Women's Health 2007-2010, and should be considered out-of-date.


 

About UWIN

UWIN Logo

The Utah Women’s Health Information Network (UWIN), a program of the University of Utah, Health Sciences Center, Center of Excellence in Women's Health, became a reality in November, 2007 with receipt of a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to improve health care for Utah women.

UWIN will focus first on diabetes, since 50,000 Utah women are diagnosed with the disease. An estimated 14,000 have not been diagnosed. The state ranks 10th in diabetes death rates among U.S. females. The U. will partner with community and public health groups, including the Utah Department of Health, Association for Utah Community Health and Utah Navajo Health Centers Inc. to distribute health information to providers and patients and implement preventive-care programs. It plans to create an infrastructure for distributing health information to providers and patients and implement the four major components of the UWIN project, including:


- Making more information available to health-care providers and patients, including using Utah Telehealth and Web-cast seminars. A future Utah Diabetes Conference will feature issues targeting women. Community clinics and public libraries will work together to make health information available using the state's consumer health information portal, Utahealthnet (http://utahealthnet.utah.edu/), coordinated through the Spencer S. Eccles Health Sciences Library (http://library.med.utah.edu/) at the Health Sciences Center.

- Evaluating physical activity and nutrition interventions at the community level. Two pilot programs are being implemented in community clinics to improve physical activity and nutrition among patients. One project, names BODYWORKS is specifically for parents of teens to teach healthy nutrition choices. Another, entitled PACE (Patient-centered Assessment and Counseling for Exercise and Nutrition) is a provider-directed education program that promotes women's physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.

- Improving tracking of gestational diabetes and using a project to improve outcomes. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death among Utah women, a number that is higher for American Indians. The Sweet Success project will encourage early recruitment into diabetes and pregnancy programs among Utah Navajos.

- Introducing a statewide diabetic retinopathy program that will promote retinal screening and develop a virtual retinal reading center. The projects will be implemented in the Salt Lake Valley, Ogden, Bear Lake, Provo and the Four Corners region over the next three years.

Mission Statement

The Utah Women’s Health Information Network (UWIN) aims to foster an academic, public and community partnership building a health information infrastructure in Utah. The objectives are to:


- Increase provider and patient education on prevention and care of diabetes, including the development of a community clinic-public library partnership for health information

- Evaluate evidence-based physical activity and nutrition interventions at the community level

- Improve gestational diabetes tracking and implement a project to improve outcomes

- Introduce a statewide web-based diabetic retinopathy program

To achieve these objectives, this project calls on partners with a history of successful collaborations to focus activities on achieving Healthy People 2010 goals and increasing attention to gender-specific processes.



Women’s Health in Utah

Utah has a young population. Almost one of three (31%) of its 2.6 million residents are under the age of 18. Many Utah residents report having a favorable health status. Most Utah adults (74.9%) report they have a personal health care provider and over half (53.1%) had a routine checkup in the past year. Nevertheless, a considerable proportion of Utah residents face challenges for adequate access to health care.

Nearly 16 percent (15.6%) of adults have no health insurance coverage. Thirteen percent (13.3%) of Utah households have incomes below the federal poverty level. Currently, one in eight (13.1%) Utah residents is a member of minority racial or ethnic group. Nearly one fourth (23.8%) of its residents live outside of the Wasatch Front, where distance to care, especially specialty care, may be challenging. As the Utah population becomes increasingly diversified, lack of access to care and health-related information may become even more challenging.

The health of many Utah women is affected by these challenges. A substantial proportion of Utah adult women have unhealthy lifestyles. According to self-reported information from the Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (2003–2006), among Utah women aged 18 and over:

- 41.2% did not have a routine check-up in the past year

- 64.1% consume fewer than two servings of fruits per day

- 72.9% consume fewer than three servings of vegetables per day

- 73.3% consume fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day

- 20.6% report having high cholesterol

- 18.0% report having high blood pressure

- 27.2% are moderately overweight and 19.6% are obese

- 39.5% do not meet the minimum level of physical activity recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for good health

These lifestyle factors have been linked to increased risk for diabetes. An estimated 7.3% percent of women in the U.S. has been diagnosed with diabetes. The Utah rate is lower, but this lower rate is to be expected, given the state’s younger population. About 1 in 20 (4.9%) Utah women has been diagnosed.

Diabetes is a serious disease that can lead to devastating complications and premature death. Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S. and Utah, and it is a leading cause of morbidity and disability.

Diabetes is actually a group of diseases characterized by high levels of sugar in the blood resulting from the body’s inability to produce insulin or properly use the insulin that is produced. Insulin is necessary to allow the sugar in the bloodstream to move into the cells where it is used for energy. Without insulin, the cells are starved and tissue is destroyed.

Most people with diabetes, about 90% to 95%, have type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes usually develops in middle to late adulthood. In many cases, type 2 diabetes is preventable, but the risk increases with age, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, family history of diabetes, membership in a minority racial/ethnic group, and among women, a history of gestational diabetes.

Many Women with Diabetes Have Substantial Risk Factors for Poor Outcomes



- 16.0% of women with diabetes live in households with incomes below the federal poverty level

- 8.3% of adult women with diabetes report having no health insurance

- More than one of four women with diabetes (26.6%) live in rural or frontier areas of the state, which generally have limited access to specialty care

- 4.7% of women with diabetes report they do not have a personal health care provider

- 15.6% of women with diabetes report did they not have a routine check-up in the past year

- 39.7% of women diagnosed with diabetes have never had a class or course in diabetes education

Notes: Overweight is defined as a body mass index between 25 and 29.9 kg/m2 and obese is defined as a body mass index of 30 kg/m2 or higher. The recommended level of physical activity is at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity five times a week or 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity 3 times a week.



References

Centers for Disease Control; National Institutes of Health; American Diabetes Association, U.S. and Utah Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2003-2006.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Fact Sheet: General Information and National Estimates on Diabetes in the United States., 2005. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , 2005.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Physical activity for everyone.
http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/physical/recommendations/adults.htm

Office of Public Health Data. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System 2003-2006. Utah Department of Health. Salt Lake City, UT

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention How many fruits and vegetables do you need?
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/

Armstrong, DB, Lavery LA. Diabetic Foot Ulcers: Prevention, Diagnosis and Classification. American Family Physician 1998, 57(6)
http://www.aafp.org/afp/980315ap/armstron.html

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Detailed Data for Prevalence of Diabetes Prevalence of Diagnosed Diabetes per 100 Population, Females, by Age, United States, 1980–2005 .
http://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/statistics/prev/national/tprevfemage.htm