Talk to the Veterans Crisis Line now
U.S. flag
An official website of the United States government

VA Health Systems Research

Go to the VA ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR Citation Abstract

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Baseline Characteristics from the Women Veterans Cohort Study: Gender Differences and Similarities in Health and Healthcare Utilization.

Gaffey AE, Burg MM, Rosman L, Portnoy GA, Brandt CA, Cavanagh CE, Skanderson M, Dziura J, Mattocks KM, Bastian LA, Haskell SG. Baseline Characteristics from the Women Veterans Cohort Study: Gender Differences and Similarities in Health and Healthcare Utilization. Journal of women's health (2002). 2021 Jul 1; 30(7):944-955.

Related HSR&D Project(s)

Dimensions for VA is a web-based tool available to VA staff that enables detailed searches of published research and research projects.

If you have VA-Intranet access, click here for more information

VA staff not currently on the VA network can access Dimensions by registering for an account using their VA email address.
   Search Dimensions for VA for this citation
* Don't have VA-internal network access or a VA email address? Try searching the free-to-the-public version of Dimensions


With the unprecedented expansion of women''s roles in the U.S. military during recent (post-9/11) conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the number of women seeking healthcare through the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) has increased substantially. Women Veterans often present as medically complex due to multiple medical, mental health, and psychosocial comorbidities, and consequently may be underserved. Thus, we conducted the nationwide Women Veterans Cohort Study (WVCS) to examine post-9/11 Veterans'' unique healthcare needs and to identify potential disparities in health outcomes and care. We present baseline data from a comprehensive questionnaire battery that was administered from 2016 to 2019 to a national sample of post-9/11 men and women Veterans who enrolled in Veterans Affairs care (WVCS2). Data were analyzed for descriptives and to compare characteristics by gender, including demographics; health risk factors and symptoms of cardiovascular disease, chronic pain, and mental health; healthcare utilization, access, and insurance. WVCS2 included 1,141 Veterans (51% women). Women were younger, more diverse, and with higher educational attainment than men. Women also endorsed lower traditional cardiovascular risk factors and comorbidities (, weight, hypertension) and greater nontraditional cardiovascular risk factors (, trauma, psychological symptoms). More women reported single-site pain (, neck, stomach, pelvic) and multisite pain, but did not differ from men in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms or treatment for PTSD. Women seek care at VHA medical centers more frequently, often combined with outside health services, but do not significantly differ from men in their insurance coverage. Overall, this investigation indicates substantial variation in risk factors, health outcomes, and healthcare utilization among post-9/11 men and women Veterans. Further research is needed to determine best practices for managing women Veterans in the VHA healthcare system.

Questions about the HSR website? Email the Web Team

Any health information on this website is strictly for informational purposes and is not intended as medical advice. It should not be used to diagnose or treat any condition.