Gender differences in the utilization of health-care services among the older adult population of Spain

Redondo-Sendino, Áurea; Guallar-Castillón, Pilar; Banegas, José Ramón; Rodríguez-Artalejo, Fernando
January 2006
BMC Public Health;2006, Vol. 6 Issue 1, p155
Academic Journal
Background: Compared to men, women report greater morbidity and make greater use of health-care services. This study examines potential determinants of gender differences in the utilization of health-care services among the elderly. Methods: Cross-sectional study covering 3030 subjects, representative of the non-institutionalized Spanish population aged 60 years and over. Potential determinants of gender differences in the utilization of health services were classified into predisposing factors (age and head-of-family status), need factors (lifestyles, chronic diseases, functional status, cognitive deficit and health-related quality of life (HRQL)) and enabling factors (educational level, marital status, head-of-family employment status and social network). Relative differences in the use of each service between women and men were summarized using odds ratios (OR), obtained from logistic regression. The contribution of the variables of interest to the gender differences in the use of such services was evaluated by comparing the OR before and after adjustment for such variables. Results: As compared to men, a higher percentage of women visited a medical practitioner (OR: 1.24; 95% confidence limits (CL): 1.07-1.44), received home medical visits (OR: 1.67; 95% CL: 1.34-2.10) and took ≥3 medications (OR: 1.54; 95% CL: 1.34-1.79), but there were no gender differences in hospital admission or influenza vaccination. Adjustment for need or enabling factors led to a reduction in the OR of women compared to men for utilization of a number of services studied. On adjusting for the number of chronic diseases, the OR (95% CL) of women versus men for ingestion of ≥3 medications was 1.24 (1.06-1.45). After adjustment for HRQL, the OR was 1.03 (0.89-1.21) for visits to medical practitioners, 1.24 (0.98-1.58) for home medical visits, 0.71 (0.58-0.87) for hospitalization, and 1.14 (0.97-1.33) for intake of ≥3 medications. After adjustment for the number of chronic diseases and HRQL, the OR of hospitalization among women versus men was 0.68 (0.56-0.84). Conclusion: The factors that best explain the greater utilization of health-care services by elderly women versus men are the number of chronic diseases and HRQL. For equal need, certain inequality was observed in hospital admission, in that it proved less frequent among women.


Related Articles

  • Gender and Health: A Study of Older Unlike-Sex Twins. Gold, Carol H.; Malmberg, Bo; McClearn, Gerald E.; Pedersen, Nancy L.; Berg, Stig // Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Socia;May2002, Vol. 57 Issue 3, p168 

    Examines the gender differences in various measures of health conditions of older unlike-sex twins in Sweden. Determination of health problems; Identification of similarities in health among unlike-sex twins; Consideration of sociocultural and environmental theories.

  • Effect of Retirement on Eating Out and Weight Change: An Analysis of Gender Differences. Sukyung Chung; Popkin, Barry M.; Domino, Marisa E.; Stearns, Sally C. // Obesity (19307381);Apr2007, Vol. 15 Issue 4, p1053 

    The article discusses a study on the role of gender differences in the effect of retirement on eating out and weight change. The increase in away from home food consumption has been cited as one factor in the large increase in obesity. Data used in the study came from the Health and Retirement...

  • The Geneva Manifesto.  // World Health;Sep/Oct98, Vol. 51 Issue 5, p18 

    Focuses on the health of ageing men. Forecast on life expectancy; Predicted elderly male population by 2050; Key factors in healthy ageing.

  • The magnitude and character of resistance-training-induced increase in tendon stiffness at old age is gender specific. Onambele-Pearson, Gladys; Pearson, Stephen // Age;Apr2012, Vol. 34 Issue 2, p427 

    Human tendon mechanical properties are modified with loading. Moreover, there are indications that the training response in the tendon is gender specific. The aim of the current study was to examine whether in vivo patella tendon stiffness ( K) differentially alters with training in older males...

  • Health inequalities among older men and women in Africa and Asia: evidence from eight Health and Demographic Surveillance System sites in the INDEPTH WHO-SAGE study. Ng, Nawi; Kowal, Paul; Kahn, Kathleen; Naidoo, Nirmala; Abdullah, Salim; Bawah, Ayaga; Binka, Fred; Chuc, Nguyen T. K.; Debpuur, Cornelius; Egondi, Thaddeus; Xavier Gómez-Olivé, F.; Hakimi, Mohammad; Hirve, Siddhivinayak; Hodgson, Abraham; Juvekar, Sanjay; Kyobutungi, Catherine; Hoang Van Minh; Mwanyangala, Mathew A.; Nathan, Rose; Razzaque, Abdur // Global Health Action;2010, Vol. 3, p96 

    Background: Declining rates of fertility and mortality are driving demographic transition in all regions of the world, leading to global population ageing and consequently changing patterns of global morbidity and mortality. Understanding sex-related health differences, recognising groups at...

  • Gender differences and factors associated with treatment-seeking behaviour for infertility in Rwanda. Dhont, N.; Luchters, S.; Ombelet, W.; Vyankandondera, J.; Gasarabwe, A.; van de Wijgert, J.; Temmerman, M. // Human Reproduction;Aug2010, Vol. 25 Issue 8, p2024 

    BACKGROUND: This study examines perceptions of infertility causes, treatment-seeking behaviour and factors associated with seeking medical care in an urban infertile population in Rwanda, as well as the response of health providers.

  • Self-Rated Health, Gender and Mortality in Older Persons: Introduction to a Special Section. Deeg, Dorly J.H.; Bath, Peter A. // Gerontologist;Jun2003, Vol. 43 Issue 3, p369 

    Discusses self-rated health (SRH) among older persons, recognized as a comprehensive indicator of health in the U.S. Proof of the comprehensiveness of SRH; Association between mortality and SRH; Gender differences in the predictive ability of mortality.

  • Joint trajectories of multiple health-related behaviors among the elderly. Hsu, Hui-Chuan; Luh, Dih-Ling; Chang, Wen-Chiung; Pan, Ling-Yen // International Journal of Public Health;Feb2013, Vol. 58 Issue 1, p109 

    Objectives: The main goal of this study was to identify the multiple trajectories of the following four health behaviors among the elderly by gender: smoking, drinking alcohol, getting regular exercise, and having a health checkup Methods: Data were from a longitudinal survey conducted among the...

  • Regulatory CT Cells in Asthma and Airway Hyperresponsiveness. Lowder, Thomas W.; Kunz, Hawley E. // Journal of Allergy & Therapy;Special2012, Vol. 3 Issue S, Special section p1 

    The article discusses the history of regulatory T cells (Tregs), their role in reducing asthma and lung inflammation, as well as gender differences in the suppressor cells. The high-affinity interleukin-2 receptor, CD25, became a reliable and widely-used surface marker of such cells. Asthmatics...


Read the Article


Sorry, but this item is not currently available from your library.

Try another library?
Sign out of this library

Other Topics