Medical care utilization for work-related injuries in the United States 2002-2006

Med Care. 2010 Jul;48(7):645-51. doi: 10.1097/MLR.0b013e3181dbdc1c.


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.

MeSH terms

  • Accidents, Occupational / statistics & numerical data*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • African Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Continental Population Groups / statistics & numerical data
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Services / statistics & numerical data*
  • Health Status Disparities
  • Healthcare Disparities / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Insurance, Health / statistics & numerical data
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Sex Factors
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Wounds and Injuries / epidemiology
  • Young Adult