Men shy away from routine medical appointments

Research Activities, August 2010, No. 360

Just over half of U.S. men (57 percent) see a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant for routine care, compared with nearly three-fourths (74 percent) of women, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Routine care is typically defined as a visit for assessing overall health rather than one prompted by a specific illness or complaint. AHRQ'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 aged 18 to 64 were only about half as likely as those with private insurance to make an appointment for routine care (36 percent vs. 69 percent).
  • About three-fourths 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 vs. 52 percent).
  • A little over half of poor respondents reported making an appointment for routine medical care compared with three-fourths of those with higher incomes (54 percent vs. 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. You can access Getting Routine Care, U.S. Adult Noninstitutionalized Population, 2007 at http://meps.ahrq.gov/mepsweb/data_files/publications/st284/stat284.shtml.

Current as of August 2010
Internet Citation: Men shy away from routine medical appointments: Research Activities, August 2010, No. 360. August 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://archive.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/aug10/0810RA27.html