For General Health, does General, Mental, and Physical Health differ by Healthcare Access for Middle-aged Females?




Gilchrist, Naomi
Wrzesinski, Derek
Schultz, Jared
Samuels, Kenya
Hartos, Jessica


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Introduction: General health and healthcare access, defined as coverage and cost, have been shown to be related in previous research, but these studies did not focus on middle-aged females (1). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine whether general, mental, and physical health differed by healthcare access in middle-aged females. Methods: This cross-sectional analysis used 2015 BRFSSS data for middle-aged females aged 35-54 from Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. Multiple logistic regression analysis assessed the relationship separately for good general health, good mental health, and good physical health with healthcare access (coverage and cost) while controlling for routine checkup, high cholesterol, age, ethnicity/race, education, income, metropolitan status, and veteran status. Results: For females aged 35-54, the majority of participants reported having good general health (73-79%), mental health (54-58%), and physical health (54-59%). Most participants reported having healthcare coverage (82-92%), and that cost did not preclude them from provider visits in the past year (74-82%). The results of adjusted analysis indicated: •Healthcare cost (moderate to large effect sizes) related to good general and physical health in three of four states. •High cholesterol (moderate to large effect sizes) related to good general, mental, and physical health in three of four states. •Income level of over $25,000 (moderate to large effect sizes) related to good general, mental, and physical health in three of four states. Conclusion: Overall, good general health and physical health were related to healthcare cost while healthcare coverage was not significant for good general, mental, or physical health in any state. The results of this study may generalize to middle-aged female patients in primary care practice. Limitations to this study include a lack of information on the extent of cost as a barrier. Healthcare services should consider a patient’s ability to manage costs of treatment, medications, and chronic health management.