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Int J Gynaecol Obstet. 2007 Nov;99(2):150-6. Epub 2007 Jul 12.

Health of urban Ghanaian women as identified by the Women's Health Study of Accra.

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  • 1Department of Population and International Health, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA.



The purpose of the Women's Health Study of Accra was to provide an assessment of the prevalence of communicable and non-communicable illnesses.


This was a prospective, community-based study that included an interview for medical illnesses, a comprehensive physical examination, and laboratory testing. A total of 1328 women were examined at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, University of Ghana.


Prevalent conditions included poor vision (66.8%), malaria (48.7%), pain (42.8%), poor dentition (41.6%), hypertension (40.2%), obesity (34.7%), arthritis (27.1%), chronic back pain (19.4%), abnormal rectal (16.0%) and pelvic examinations (12.7%), HIV in women age 24-29 (8.3%), and hypercholesterolemia (22.7%). Increasing age, lack of formal education, and low-income adversely affected health conditions.


The high prevalence of preventable illnesses in this expanding urban population indicates that the health care services are obligated to develop and provide screening, preventive strategies and treatment for both general health and gynecologic health conditions.

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