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Gender Inequity Observed in Hematuria Referral

Men are more likely to be referred for urological evaluation than women

MONDAY, Sept. 29 (HealthDay News) -- Women with an initial episode or first recurrence of hematuria are less likely to receive urological referral in comparison to men of the same age, which may lead to delays in evaluation and diagnosis for serious urological conditions, researchers report in the September issue of Urology.

Emilie K. Johnson, of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues examined referral patterns for 926 consecutive patients with hematuria who were enrolled in a managed care organization, to determine if gender differences exist. The total included 559 men and 367 women.

The investigators found that 263 men (47 percent) and 102 women (28 percent) were referred for urologic evaluation and were followed for a median time of 27 and 26 months, respectively. Primary care physicians initiated most referrals (80 percent), and multivariate regression indicated that increased urologic referral was associated with advanced age, recurring hematuria, provider type and male gender. Men were 1.65 times more likely to be referred than women, the researchers report.

"Gender inequity in urologic referral was demonstrated in high-risk populations, including older patients and those with recurrent hematuria," the authors conclude. "Unequal access to specialists could have ill consequences for women because delayed subspecialty care can translate into a delayed diagnosis of significant urologic conditions, including urothelial carcinoma."

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