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Sex differences in health care consumption in Sweden: A register-based cross-sectional study

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift
Författare Ingrid Osika Friberg
Gunilla Krantz
S. Maatta
Krister Järbrink
Publicerad i Scandinavian Journal of Public Health
Volym 44
Nummer/häfte 3
Sidor 264-273
ISSN 1403-4948
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för medicin, avdelningen för samhällsmedicin och folkhälsa
Sidor 264-273
Språk en
Länkar dx.doi.org/10.1177/1403494815618843
Ämnesord Sex differences, sex-specific, reproduction, gender, costs, contacts, primary care, specialist care, gender-differences, help-seeking, services, women, men, Public, Environmental & Occupational Health
Ämneskategorier Folkhälsovetenskap, global hälsa, socialmedicin och epidemiologi

Sammanfattning

Background: Generally, health care consumption, especially primary care, is greater among women than men. The extent to which this sex difference is explained by reproduction and sex-specific morbidity is unclear. Methods: We examined age- and sex-specific health care service utilization and costs in the western region of Sweden. Data were retrieved from a regional health care database of information on total health care consumption in the population. Use of health care resources was divided into the following diagnosis categories: health care associated with reproduction; health care received for sex-specific morbidity; and health care provided for all other conditions. Results: Total per capita cost for health care was 20% higher for women than for men. When adjusted for reproduction and sex-specific morbidity, the cost-difference decreased to 8%. The remaining cost-difference could be explained by women's substantially higher costs for mental and behavioral disorders and diseases of the musculoskeletal system. Women were more likely to receive more accessible, less expensive primary care, while men were more likely to receive specialist inpatient care. Conclusions: The substantially greater use of reproduction-associated care among women, which largely occurs within primary care, might make it easier to also seek health care for other reasons. Efforts to eliminate barriers that prevent men from investing in their health and seeking primary care could reduce future morbidity and costs for specialist care. More studies and appropriate actions are needed to determine why women are overrepresented in mental, behavioral and musculoskeletal disorders.

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