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Men Shy Away from Routine Medical Appointments

Just over half of US men see a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for routine care, compared to nearly three-quarters of women, according to AHRQ research.

Just over half of U.S. men (57 percent) see a doctor, nurse practitioner or physician assistant for routine care, compared to nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of women, according to the latest "News and Numbers" from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Routine care is typically defined as a visit for assessing overall health rather than one prompted by a specific illness or complaint.

The federal agency’s 2007 survey asked respondents if they had made an appointment within the past 12 months for routine care, and it found that:

  • Fewer Hispanic and black men made routine medical care appointments than white men (35.5 percent, 43.5 percent, and 63 percent, respectively).
  • Uninsured people ages 18 to 64 were only about half as likely as those with private insurance to make an appointment for routine care (36 percent versus 69 percent).
  • About three-quarters of respondents who said they were in excellent health reported making an appointment for routine medical care versus half of those who said that their health was fair or poor (76 percent versus 52 percent).
  • A little over half of poor respondents reported making an appointment for routine medical care compared with three-quarters of those with higher incomes. (54 percent versus 75 percent).

The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Getting Routine Care, US Adult Noninstitutionalized Population, 2007.

Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality