Objective: To examine racial-ethnic/gender differences in the odds of injury and in the odds of seeking medical treatment among workers in the United States.
Methods: Logistic regression models were used to estimate the odds of having a work injury and the odds of seeking medical treatment for these injuries in a sample of non-Latino Black, Latino, and non-Latino white workers from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (2002-2006).
Results: Significant variation in the odds of injury was observed across racial-ethnic/gender groups. Although race-gender groups had significant variation in the odds of experiencing a work injury, we found few differences in treatment seeking. Among the 6 subgroups, we found that white women were significantly less likely to report an injury and significantly more likely to seek treatment when injured. Having health insurance played a key role in utilization among injured workers. The odds of seeking treatment were 33% lower for uninsured workers compared with those with private insurance. Publicly insured workers were no different from privately insured workers.
Conclusions: Our study sheds light on current trends in work injuries and associated medical care utilization among a nationally representative sample of workers.