Cancer screening among Latino subgroups in the United States

Prev Med. 2005 May;40(5):515-26. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.09.031.


Background: Relying upon the Health Belief Model and a behavioral model of health care utilization, the purpose of this study was to examine current adherence to cancer screening among Latino subgroups.

Methods: Using data from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey, 5377 Latinos were surveyed for their use of Pap smear, mammogram, breast self-examination and the clinical breast exam among women, prostate specific antigen test among men, and the fecal occult blood test, sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, and proctoscopy among both men and women. Using sampling weights, multivariate logistic regression models were used to assess screening use.

Results: Dominican women had 2.4 times greater likelihood of having had mammography than other Latinos. In addition, Latinas aged 50-69, who had more years of education, a personal history of cancer, who were not current smokers, had health insurance, had visited a primary care provider over the past 12 months, and had at least one other screening test had greater use of mammography. Younger age, marriage, greater acculturation, visits to a primary care provider, health insurance, and the use of other cancer screening tests predicted the uptake of the Pap smear. Latinas were more likely to use a CBE if they were younger, had a Bachelor's degree, a personal history of cancer, were more acculturated, had visits to a primary care provider over the past 12 months, and used other cancer screening tests. Puerto Ricans, Central or South Americans had half the likelihood of having colorectal cancer screening than other groups. Ages between 50 and 69, male sex, marriage, history of visiting a health care provider, and use of other screening tests predicted use of the FOBT. Older age, greater education, male sex, history of visiting a health care provider in the previous year, use of other screening tests, and better health status influenced the uptake of endoscopy for colorectal cancer screening. Cuban males had fivefold greater utilization of PSA testing. Additionally, PSA use among Latinos was predicted by older age, history of visiting a primary care provider in the past 12 months, and use of other screening tests.

Conclusions: Cancer screening programs must take into account differences among Latinos in age, gender, educational levels, marital status, cancer history, risk behaviors, insurance, health status and health services utilization.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mass Screening / methods*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking