Reports From the Field

Women approach health care differently from men

Women are 33% more likely than men to visit a doctor, even excluding pregnancy-related visits, a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has concluded.

The study concluded that women are significantly more likely to receive prescriptions for hormones and antidepressants.

The information is contained in the report "Utilization of Ambulatory Medical Care by Women: United States 1997-98" which used data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

Here are some other findings:

On average, women made about 4.6 visits a year, ranging from 3.8 for those 15-44, to double that for women over 65.

Younger women tend to visit primary care physicians and emergency departments, while older women tend to see specialists.

Black women had higher rates of visits for hypertension, complications of pregnancy, and diabetes.

The most common diagnostic or screening service for women was blood pressure screening, followed by pelvic exams and urinalysis.

The most frequent sources of payment for ambulatory care visits were private insurance (50%), Medicare (22%), and Medicaid (9%)

For more information, or to download the report, visit the CDC web site: