Background: Both sexes are at different risks for cancers and gender-dependent fears and barriers might influence their attitude towards screening. The aim of the present study was to assess gender issues in demographic variables which could influence the use of screening examinations.
Methods: A standardized questionnaire was used to assess data of 513 Austrians, with urban and rural location of residence, aged 35-65 years. An elderly age group was additionally assessed in the urban region.
Results: Women of both age groups showed lower screening rates for bowel cancer. Living in partnership was predictive for breast cancer screening in females, whereas higher educational level was negatively associated with PSA screening in younger men. Additionally, increasing age was associated with less screening for breast and cervix cancer in older women.
Conclusions: There is evidence for gender-related differences in the attitude towards screening in Austria. Different socio-demographic variables might be responsible.