Little is known regarding the reproductive health needs of women Veterans using Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care.Objective:
To describe the reproductive health diagnoses of women Veterans using VA health care, how these diagnoses differ across age groups, and variations in sociodemographic and clinical characteristics by presence of reproductive health diagnoses.Research Design:
This study is a cross-sectional analysis of VA administrative and clinical data.Subjects:
The study included women Veterans using VA health care in FY10.Measures:
Reproductive health diagnoses were identified through presence of International Classification of Disease, 9th Revision (ICD-9) codes in VA clinical and administrative records. The prevalence of specific diagnosis categories were examined by age group (18–44, 45–64, ≥65 y) and the most frequent diagnoses for each age group were identified. Sociodemographic and clinical characteristics were compared by presence of at least 1 reproductive health diagnosis.Results:
The most frequent reproductive health diagnoses were menstrual disorders and endometriosis among those aged 18–44 years (n=16,658, 13%), menopausal disorders among those aged 45–64 years (n=20,707, 15%), and osteoporosis among those aged ≥65 years (n=8365, 22%). Compared with women without reproductive health diagnoses, those with such diagnoses were more likely to have concomitant mental health (46% vs. 37%, P<0.001) and medical conditions (75% vs. 63%, P<0.001).Conclusions:
Women Veterans using VA health care have diverse reproductive health diagnoses. The high prevalence of comorbid medical and mental health conditions among women Veterans with reproductive health diagnoses highlights the importance of integrating reproductive health expertise into all areas of VA health care, including primary, mental health, and specialty care.