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Study Finds Vasectomy Use Differs Between Races

Caucasian men more likely to report vasectomy; income, number of kids linked to use of procedure

TUESDAY, Dec. 8 (HealthDay News) African-American and Hispanic men appear less likely to undergo vasectomy than Caucasian men, according to research published in the November issue of Urology.

Michael L. Eisenberg, M.D., of the University of California San Francisco, and colleagues analyzed data from 2,161 men aged 30 to 45 years in the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. Men self-reported their vasectomy status during an interview. Of men younger than 30, researchers found that only 0.4 percent had undergone a vasectomy, which is why they focused on the older group of men.

The researchers note that roughly 11.4 percent of men reported having a vasectomy, which suggests that roughly 3.6 million American men in this age group have had the procedure. In multivariate analysis, African-American and Hispanic men were substantially less likely to undergo a vasectomy (odds ratios, 0.20 and 0.41, respectively) than Caucasian men. Factors associated with greater use of vasectomy included older age, having been married, fathering two or more children, and having higher income.

"In the United States, there may be racial and socioeconomic biases in the utilization of vasectomy from the patients, their providers, or both. Given the safety, efficacy, and economic viability of vasectomy, such disparities merit further investigation," the authors conclude.

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