Birth control use differs between race, age, and ethnicity

Interventions to improve contraceptive use should focus on younger female patients.

Birth control use differs between young female patients
Birth control use differs between young female patients

HealthDay News -- Prominent racial disparities among younger women have been found in regards to contraceptive use, according to researchers.

“Disparities in unintended pregnancy in the United States are related, in part, to black and Hispanic women being overall less likely to use effective contraceptive methods,” Christine Dehlendorf, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, and colleagues wrote.

In order to examine the correlation between race/ethnicity and contraceptive use, investigators analyzed race/ethnicity and age, parity, and history of unintended pregnancy data in 7,214 female patients aged 15 to 44 years from 2006 to 2010. Their findings were published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Black females were less likely than whites to use any contraceptive method (adjust odds ratio, 0.65). The likelihood of using a highly or moderately effective method was lower for blacks and Hispanics versus whites (adjusted OR, 0.49 and 0.57, respectively), reported the inspectors.

Racial/ethnic disparities in contraceptive use differed according to patients' age, with more prominent disparities seen among younger women.

“Interventions designed to address disparities in unintended pregnancy should focus on improving contraceptive use among younger women,” wrote the researchers.

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