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Trump case expected to head to the jury today; IN food banks concerned about draft Farm Bill; NH parents, educators urge veto of anti-LGBTQ+ bills; Study shows a precipitous drop in migratory fish populations, in US and worldwide.

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Actor Robert DeNiro joins Capitol Police officers to protest against Donald Trump at his New York hush money trial as both sides make closing arguments. And the Democratic Party moves to make sure President Biden will be on the ballot in Ohio.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Report ranks Maryland 11th in health of women, children

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Monday, November 6, 2023   

A new report covering women's and children's health shows Maryland is doing well overall, but some concerning trends have emerged.

The 2023 Health of Women and Children Report released by the United Health Foundation ranked Maryland 11th nationally, with improving numbers around infant mortality, and a more than 40% drop in cigarette smoking among women 18 to 44.

The report also looked at nonmedical factors affecting health outcomes. Among those, Maryland has relatively high numbers of women who are unemployed, and many face a high housing cost burden.

Mia Smith-Bynum, professor and chair of the Department of Family Science at the University of Maryland School of Public Health, said when life stresses are combined, they often lead to health problems.

"The more stress that is on that head of household, the more that it's going to show up in their health crises long term," Smith-Bynum explained. "It may not happen in year one of that stress, it may not happen in year two, but year six, seven, eight; that's when you're going to start to see the chronic impacts of all of these pressures."

Nationally, the report found depression and frequent mental distress increased among adult women. Maryland saw a 47% increase in firearm deaths among women 20 to 44 between 2016 and 2021. Smith-Bynum sees the large increases as being connected to a wider sense of desperation.

"When I look at this, and I see what's happening in the country, particularly with respect to mental health, the social isolation, people are dealing with a lot of distress," Smith-Bynum observed. "The way that the economy has continued to change, people are feeling more desperate than what we've typically seen in prior decades."

The report also showed a 21% increase in poverty among children between 2018 and 2021. Researchers looked at 122 measurements from 34 different data sources.


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