Disparities in medical expenditure and utilization among hypertensive men and women in the U.S.: Cross-section and lifetime analysis

Rituparna Basu, The University of Texas School of Public Health


Objectives. To investigate procedural gender equity by assessing predisposing, enabling and need predictors of gender differences in annual medical expenditures and utilization among hypertensive individuals in the U.S. Also, to estimate and compare lifetime medical expenditures among hypertensive men and women in the U.S. Data source. 2001-2004 the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS);1986-2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and National Health Interview Survey linked to mortality in the National Death Index through 2002 (2002 NHIS-NDI). Study design. We estimated total medical expenditure using four equations regression model, specific medical expenditures using two equations regression model and utilization using negative binomial regression model. Procedural equity was assessed by applying the Aday et al. theoretical framework. Expenditures were estimated in 2004 dollars. We estimated hypertension-attributable medical expenditure and utilization among men and women. To estimate lifetime expenditures from ages 20 to 85+, we estimated medical expenditures with cross-sectional data and survival with prospective data. The four equations regression model were used to estimate average annual medical expenditures defined as sum of inpatient stay, emergency room visits, outpatient visits, office based visits, and prescription drugs expenditures. Life tables were used to estimate the distribution of life time medical expenditures for hypertensive men and women at different age and factors such as disease incidence, medical technology and health care cost were assumed to be fixed. Both total and hypertension attributable expenditures among men and women were estimated. Data collection. We used the 2001-2004 MEPS household component and medical condition files; the NHIS person and condition files from 1986-1996 and 1997-2000 sample adult files were used; and the 1986-2000 NHIS that were linked to mortality in the 2002 NHIS-NDI. Principal findings. Hypertensive men had significantly less utilization for most measures after controlling predisposing, enabling and need factors than hypertensive women. Similarly, hypertensive men had less prescription drug (-9.3%), office based (-7.2%) and total medical (-4.5%) expenditures than hypertensive women. However, men had more hypertension-attributable medical expenditures and utilization than women. Expected total lifetime expenditure for average life table individuals at age 20, was $188,300 for hypertensive men and $254,910 for hypertensive women. But the lifetime expenditure that could be attributed to hypertension was $88,033 for men and $40,960 for women. Conclusion. Hypertensive women had more utilization and expenditure for most measures than hypertensive men, possibly indicating procedural inequity. However, relatively higher hypertension-attributable health care of men shows more utilization of resources to treat hypertension related diseases among men than women. Similar results were reported in lifetime analyses. Key words: gender, medical expenditures, utilization, hypertension-attributable, lifetime expenditure

Subject Area

Public health

Recommended Citation

Basu, Rituparna, "Disparities in medical expenditure and utilization among hypertensive men and women in the U.S.: Cross-section and lifetime analysis" (2008). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI3297434.