Research has not adequately examined the potential negative effects of perceiving routine discrimination on general healthcare utilization or health status, especially among reproductive-aged women. We sought to evaluate the association between everyday discrimination, health service use, and perceived health among a national sample of women in the United States.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
Data were drawn from the Women’s Healthcare Experiences and Preferences survey, a randomly selected, national probability sample of 1078 U.S. women aged 18-55 years. We examined associations between everyday discrimination (via a standardized scale) on frequency of health service utilization and perceived general health status using chi-square and multivariable logistic regression modeling.
Compared with women who reported healthcare visits every 3 years or less (reference group), each one-point increase in discrimination score was associated with higher odds of having healthcare visits annually or more often (odds ratio [OR] = 1.36, confidence interval [95% CI] = 1.01-1.83). Additionally, each one-point increase in discrimination score was significantly associated with lower odds of having excellent/very good perceived health (OR = 0.65; 95% CI = 0.54-0.80).
Perceived discrimination was associated with increased exposure to the healthcare setting among this national sample of women. Perceived discrimination was also inversely associated with excellent/very good perceived health status.