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Lancet. 2000 Nov 25;356(9244):1823-4.

Health-seeking behaviour of individuals with a cough of more than 3 weeks.


Sex inequalities can lead to poorer access to health care and delays to diagnosis of tuberculosis in women. In a population-based survey we assessed health-seeking behaviour in adults with long-term cough. The prevalence of cough was 1% (213) and 2% (279) in men and women, respectively. Women took more health-care actions than men, but chose less qualified providers and reported lower health expenditure per visit. Delay before seeking hospital treatment was longer for women (41 days) than men (19 days; p=0.04), and more men (27; 36%) than women (14; 14%; p=0.0006) reported giving a sputum sample at hospital. Sex-sensitive strategies for tuberculosis control are needed and should take into account sex differences in health-care seeking behaviour as well as a possible sex bias among health-care providers.

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