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Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Jan;109(1):94-100.

Race, insurance status, and tubal sterilization.

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Divison of General Internal Medicine, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, PA 15240, USA.



To examine the independent effects of race or ethnicity and insurance status on use of tubal sterilization rates.


This study used cross-sectional data collected by the 2002 National Survey of Family Growth. The survey is designed to represent women and men aged 15-44 years in the household population of the United States. Our main outcome measure was tubal sterilization at any time before interview. A multivariable logistic regression model was used to estimate the effects of race or ethnicity and insurance status on rates of tubal sterilization after adjusting for important confounders.


The sample consisted of 7,643 women: 66% were white, 15% were Hispanic, and 14% were African American; 68% had private insurance and 32% had public or no insurance. After adjusting for age, insurance status, parity, income, education, marital status, and religion, African-American women were more likely than white women to undergo tubal sterilization (adjusted odds ratio 1.43, 95% confidence interval 1.08-1.88). After adjusting for age, race or ethnicity, parity, income, education, marital status, and religion, women with public or no insurance were more likely to undergo sterilization compared with women with private insurance (adjusted odds ratio 1.38, 95% confidence interval 1.09-1.74).


African-American women and women with no or public insurance were more likely to have undergone tubal sterilization compared with white women and women with private insurance, respectively. Additional research to identify factors that influence women's decision to undergo sterilization is warranted.



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