12/02/2011 03:27 EST | Updated 02/01/2012 05:12 EST

Perry Kendall Report: B.C. Women Among Healthiest, But Some Diseases Rising

VICTORIA - Women in B.C. are among the healthiest in Canada, according to a new report by provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall, who says some problems still persist.

The report says women are living longer, teen pregnancy rates are down and women have more access to preventive care.

While HIV rates have fallen, sexually transmitted diseases including Chlamydia and gonorrhoea are rising, along with chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma and hypertension and conditions such as depression.

The report found B.C. women gained an extra 3.2 years in life expectancy between 1990 and 2009 but the gains are less than those of men, and poor women live 4.6 fewer years than those who are better off.

Kendall says the government is trying to address some of the problems identified in the report through programs aimed at reducing chronic disease and improving mental health.

However, he's also recommending the government do more by producing a comprehensive women's health strategy focusing on issues such as income security, preventing violence and preventing and managing chronic disease.