Objectives: In 2003, in response to low colonoscopy screening rates and significant sociodemographic disparities in colonoscopy screening in New York City (NYC), the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, together with the Citywide Colon Cancer Control Coalition, launched a multifaceted campaign to increase screening. We evaluated colonoscopy trends among adult New Yorkers aged 50 years and older between 2003 and 2007, the first five years of this campaign.
Methods: Data were analyzed from the NYC Community Health Survey, an annual, population-based surveillance of New Yorkers. Annual prevalence estimates of adults who reported a timely colonoscopy, one within the past 10 years, were calculated. Multivariate models were used to analyze changes over time in associations between colonoscopy screening and sociodemographic characteristics.
Results: Overall, from 2003 to 2007 the proportion of New Yorkers aged 50 years and older who reported timely colonoscopy screening increased from 41.7% to 61.7%. Racial/ethnic and sex disparities observed in 2003 were eliminated by 2007: prevalence of timely colonoscopy was similar among non-Hispanic whites, non-Hispanic blacks, Hispanics, men, and women. However, Asians, the uninsured, and those with lower education and income continued to lag in receipt of timely colonoscopies.
Conclusions: The increased screening colonoscopy rate and reduction of racial/ethnic disparities observed in NYC suggest that multifaceted, coordinated urban campaigns can improve low utilization of clinical preventive health services and reduce public-health disparities.