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Associations between Race/Ethnicity, Uterine Fibroids, and Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy in the VA Healthcare System.

Callegari LS, Katon JG, Gray KE, Doll K, Pauk S, Lynch KE, Uchendu US, Zephyrin L, Gardella C. Associations between Race/Ethnicity, Uterine Fibroids, and Minimally Invasive Hysterectomy in the VA Healthcare System. Women's health issues : official publication of the Jacobs Institute of Women's Health. 2019 Jan 1; 29(1):48-55.

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BACKGROUND: In the general population, Black and Latina women are less likely to undergo minimally invasive hysterectomy than White women, which may be related to racial/ethnic variation in fibroid prevalence and characteristics. Whether similar differences exist in the Department of Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VA) is unknown. METHODS: Using VA clinical and administrative data, we identified all women veterans undergoing hysterectomy for benign indications in fiscal years 2012-2014. We identified hysterectomy route (laparoscopic with/without robot-assist, vaginal, abdominal) by International Classification of Diseases, 9th edition, codes. We used multinomial logistic regression to estimate associations of race/ethnicity with hysterectomy route and tested whether associations varied by fibroid diagnosis using an interaction term. Models adjusted for age, income, body mass index, gynecologic diagnoses, medical comorbidities, whether procedure was performed or paid for by VA, geographic region, and fiscal year. RESULTS: Among 2,744 identified hysterectomies, 53% were abdominal, 29% laparoscopic, and 18% vaginal. In multinomial models, racial/ethnic differences were present among veterans with but not without fibroid diagnoses (p value for interaction  <  .001). Among veterans with fibroids, Black veterans were less likely than White veterans to have minimally invasive hysterectomy (laparoscopic vs. abdominal relative risk ratio [RRR], 0.52; 95% CI, 0.38-0.72; vaginal vs. abdominal RRR, 0.58; 95% CI, 0.43-0.73). Latina veterans were as likely as White veterans to have laparoscopic as abdominal hysterectomy (RRR, 1.34; 95% CI, 0.87-2.07) and less likely to have vaginal than abdominal hysterectomy (RRR, 0.32; 95% CI, 0.15-0.69). CONCLUSIONS: Receipt of minimally invasive hysterectomy among women veterans with fibroids varied by race/ethnicity. Further investigation of the underlying mechanisms and potential interventions to increase minimally invasive hysterectomy among minority women veterans is needed.

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