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Women Health. 2008;47(4):1-17. doi: 10.1080/03630240802099261.

Disparities in preventive care by body mass index categories among women.

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  • 1School of Social Work, Rutgers University, 536 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ 08901, USA.



The present analyses examined the relationship of body mass index (BMI) categories to receiving age-appropriate preventive services among women.


Data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2003, N = 10,954) were analyzed using multiple logistic regressions. Outcomes were: age-appropriate Pap-test, mammography, colorectal, cholesterol and blood pressure screening, and influenza immunization.


Overall, 3% of participants were underweight, and 26.3% were obese. Obese women were less likely to receive Pap-tests (p < .01), and underweight women less likely to receive mammography (p < .001). Dental care was less likely across all BMI groups outside the normal weight range.


The association between BMI categories and preventive services use varied by type of preventive care.

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