Treatment Disparity Across Cultures

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Registered: 11-13-2008
Treatment Disparity Across Cultures
Wed, 01-22-2014 - 9:46am

While most of the findings from a US government report on fertility wasn't surprising, I thought the following was interesting.  Their main goal was to see if infertility rates were rising, but they also found that weathier women were more likely to seek fertility treatments:

Previous research has shown that fertility rates among women are about the same, regardless of income levels and race, Chandra said. And research suggests that poorer women and minority women share the same desire for children as other women, she added.

So why the disparity?

Lack of money and insurance definitely play a role, said Greil. The treatments can be very expensive and may not always be covered by insurance.

But money isn’t the only issue, he said. “Whites and Asians are much more likely to have partners and families who encourage fertility treatments. African Americans and Hispanics, to a lesser extent, are less likely to be encouraged by family members and partners to use fertility treatments. Part of the issue may be that these groups have less trust in medical institutions,” he said.

It’s unclear how much difference health care reform under Obamacare will make in terms of access for the number of poor and nonwhite women who turn to infertility treatments, Greil said. Research in Massachusetts, which has a health care system similar to the one that’s now being adopted nationally, suggests that “even when health insurance covers in-vitro fertilization, women of color and poorer women were still less likely to get treatment,” he said.

The message, Greil said, is: “There’s more going on than just access.”

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What do you think about this?