Cancer screening among Native Americans in California

Ethn Dis. Spring 2011;21(2):202-9.


Objective: To determine the factors associated with cancer screening adherence among Native Americans living in California.

Participants: 2,266 Native Americans identified from the California Health Interview Surveys during 2001, 2003, and 2005 eligible for cervical, breast, or colorectal cancer screening.

Methods: We fit multivariable logistic regression models to identify demographic and healthcare access predictors of adherence to cancer screening.

Results: The presence of a recent physician visit was significantly associated with cervical (odds ratio [OR] 7.34, 95% confidence interval [CI] 4.27, 12.6), breast (OR 3.29, 95% CI 2.0, 5.42), and colorectal (OR 3.02, 95% Cl 1.74, 5.23) cancer screening adherence. The report of a usual source of care was similarly positively associated with cervical, breast, and colorectal cancer screening adherence. Additional predictors for colorectal cancer screening included higher educational attainment (OR 1.56, 95% Cl 1.07, 2.28), and the presence of a comorbid condition (OR 1.54, 95% CI 1.16, 2.05). Experiencing discrimination (OR .42, 95% Cl .20, .89) and never being married (OR .49, 95% CI .27, .89) were negative predictors of breast cancer screening, while having insurance (OR 2.00, 95% CI 1.27, 3.15) was a positive predictor. Cervical cancer screening was positively associated with living at or above 300% of the federal poverty level (OR 2.69, 95% CI 1.50, 4.85).

Conclusions: Regular access to health care and a physician are the most consistent predictors of cancer screening adherence among Native Americans and should represent a focus of activities to improve screening rates in these communities.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • California
  • Cohort Studies
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Healthcare Disparities / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Indians, North American / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Young Adult