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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


LIMA-COSTA, Maria Fernanda. Lifestyle and preventive health care utilization among adults covered or not by private health plan (the Belo Horizonte health survey). Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2004, vol.9, n.4, pp.857-864. ISSN 1678-4561.

This study aimed at examining the associations among private health plan affiliation and health lifestyles, medical counseling about alcohol consumption and tobacco, as well as preventive health care use. The study was carried out in a representative sample of 13,851 residents in the Metropolitan Area of Belo Horizonte (RMBH), aged > 20 years. From these, 34% were covered by a private health plan and 66% were under exclusive public coverage. The former, in comparison with the latter, had healthy lifestyles, regarding current smoking, binge drinking, physical activities during leisure time and consumption of fruits, green and vegetables on daily basis. They had also received more frequent medical advice about smoking and drinking habits. The prevalences of those who received blood pressure and cholesterol assessments, mammography, papanicolau test, as well as fecal occult blood test, were significantly higher among those who were affiliated to a private health plan. All the above mentioned associations were independent of sex, age, and schooling. Our results point to the urgent need of overcoming these inequities.

Keywords : Lifestyles; Preventive health care use; Private health plan; Health survey.

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