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National reports point towards disparities in the utilization of preventive care services but sparse literature exists regarding predicting utilization pattern of preventive care services.
METHODS: The 2007 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a national probability sample survey of the ambulatory civilian US population, was analyzed to determine demographic patterns of utilization. Recommendations by JNC-VII and NCEP were used to determine guideline adherence to blood pressure and cholesterol checkup respectively. Utilization of blood pressure screening and cholesterol checkup services were used as the dependent variable while age, gender, race, ethnicity, insurance status, perceived health status were used as independent variables. Since guidelines differ for people with elevated blood pressure, respondents with elevated blood pressure were identified in the MEPS database by self-reported diagnosis. Descriptive statistics were used to describe the population, chi-square analysis was used to determine the group differences for the categorical variables. Multivariate logistic regression model was built to predict odds of utilizing appropriate preventive se!
rvices. All analysis was carried out using SAS v9.1.
RESULTS: Total number of adult respondents was 20,434 of which data was available for blood pressure checkup for 20,187 respondents and 15,784 respondents for cholesterol checkup. Overall, respondents were found to adhere to guideline recommendations for getting the blood pressure (n=17,959, 89.0%) and cholesterol (n=14,956, 94.7%) check-up done. A univariate chi-square analysis showed statistically significant differences across all independent variables between people who utilized the preventive care service and those who didn t for blood pressure checkup (p<0><0>65) had much higher odds of using the blood pressure (OR=2.815, CI=2.317-3.420 ) and cholesterol (OR=3.190, CI=2.396-4.!
249 ) preventive services. Males had much lower odds of getting blood pressure (OR=0.350, CI=0.318-0.384) and cholesterol (OR=0.597, CI=0.516-0.692) checks done compared to females. Odds of utilization were nearly similar for all races. Uninsured had lower odds for blood pressure (OR=0.282, CI=0.253-0.315) and cholesterol (OR=0.314, CI=0.262-0.376) use compared to privately insured people.
CONCLUSIONS: Overall MEPS respondents adhered to blood pressure and cholesterol check up guidelines. The study was however successful in identifying existing age, race, income, insurance status related disparities in US population.
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