Objective: To find out the influence of gender and age on various types of utilization of primary care services.
Method: A random sample group containing 2662 patients over 14 years of age was observed over a continuous period of a year. Having already excluded the losses subjects, health service utilization was measured using patients whose clinical records had previously been validated.
Results: A small number of patients (15%) use a disproportionate amount of the total number of visits. A numerical breakdown shows: 43% of global visits (GV), 45% of acute clinical visits (ACV), 68% administrative visits (AV) and 94% programmed visits (PV). The ACV, PV and GV were significantly higher in woman (p = 0.000), though in the AV was not the case. These remained a significant difference when age was controlling factor. The coefficients of correlation between age and the logarithm of the ACV, AV, PV and GV were respectively 0.27, 0.23, 0.40 and 0.41. Gender is not a consideration with regard to use of health services below 35 and above 75 years of age. In multiple lineal regression equations age stands out as the most predictive variable, followed by gender, excluding the AV where the doctor comes before gender.
Conclusion: A small group of highusers use a desproportionate amount of the total number of visits, particularly the AV and PV. The positive correlation between age and utilization is more clear by the PV and GV. The female is more user than the male, specially among 35 and 75 years old; although the gender is not determinant by the AV. There is not much explained variability with the age and gender, but the age is more important than the gender on utilization.