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Black, Hispanic Women Have More Tubal Sterilization

Uninsured and publicly insured women also more likely to have sterilization

FRIDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Black and Hispanic women and those with no or public health insurance were more likely to have tubal sterilization than white or privately insured women, researchers report in the January issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Sonya Borrero, M.D., of the VA Pittsburgh HealthCare System in Pennsylvania, and colleagues evaluated the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth data to assess how ethnicity or race and insurance status affected tubal sterilization rates. Of the 7,643 women evaluated (66 percent white, 15 percent Hispanic, 14 percent black) 68 percent were privately insured and 32 percent had public or no insurance.

Twenty-one percent of black women, 20 percent of Hispanic women and 15 percent of white women were sterilized. After adjusting for age, income, parity and other variables, black women were more likely than white women to have sterilization (odds ratio, 1.43) as were women with public or no insurance compared to privately insured women (odds ratio 1.38). Black and Hispanic women were more likely to be publicly insured or have no insurance than white women.

"African-American women and women with no or public insurance were more likely to have undergone tubal sterilization compared with white women and women with private insurance, respectively. Additional research to identify factors that influence women's decision to undergo sterilization is warranted," the authors conclude.

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