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Socioeconomic status and race as predictors of treatment-seeking behavior for pelvic organ prolapse

      Objective

      We sought to evaluate the prevalence of pelvic organ prolapse (POP) among a diverse group of women and to determine if race/ethnicity and/or socioeconomic status (SES) are factors in treatment-seeking behavior.

      Study Design

      All data were collected from the National Institutes of Health–supported Boston Area Community Health Survey. SES was calculated by a 2-factor index that combined household income with years of education. Inferential statistics comprised 1-way analysis of variance, with a post hoc Scheffé test performed to evaluate whether there were differences between individual groups. A χ2 test was used to evaluate whether distributions were equal among the various questions by race/ethnicity and SES category.

      Results

      A total of 3205 women were included in the analysis. Hispanic ethnicity and younger age were associated with POP (P < .002 and P < .001, respectively) as well as with seeking treatment for prolapse (P = .007 and P < .001, respectively). These factors were also associated with subsequent surgical repair (P = .027 and P = .019, respectively). A regression model showed that women were 4.9% more likely to seek treatment for every year younger they were, across the range of age. Although women of a higher SES were more likely to have POP, SES was neither associated with a higher likelihood of seeking treatment nor with the surgical management of prolapse.

      Conclusion

      Hispanic ethnicity and younger age were associated with seeking treatment for POP. Hispanics were more likely than whites or blacks to proceed with surgical management. There was no correlation of SES with any of the above factors.

      Key words

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