Background: Despite substantial declines in cervical cancer mortality because of widespread screening, socioeconomic status (SES) disparities persist. The authors examined trends in cervical cancer mortality rates and the risk of late-stage diagnoses by SES.
Methods: Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, trends in age-standardized mortality rates among women ages 25 to 64 years (1993-2007) by education level (≤12 years, 13-15 years, and ≥16 years) and race/ethnicity for non-Hispanic white (NHW) women and non-Hispanic black (NHB) women in 26 states were assessed using log-linear regression. Rate ratios (RRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were used to assess disparities between those with ≤12 years versus ≥16 years of education during 1993 to 1995 and 2005 to 2007. Avertable deaths were calculated by applying mortality rates from the most educated women to others in 48 states. Trends in the risk of late-stage diagnosis by race/ethnicity and insurance status were evaluated in the National Cancer Data Base.
Results: Declines in mortality were steepest for those with the highest education levels (3.2% per year among NHW women and 6.8% per year among NHB women). Consequently, the education disparity widened between the periods 1993 to 1995 and 2005 to 2007 from 3.1 (95% CI, 2.4-3.9) to 4.4 (95% CI, 3.5-5.6) for NHW women and from 3.8 (95% CI, 2.0-7.0) to 5.6 (95% CI, 3.1-10.0) for NHB women. The risk of late-stage diagnosis increased for uninsured versus privately insured women over time. During 2007, 74% of cervical cancer deaths in the United States may have been averted by eliminating SES disparities.
Conclusions: SES disparities in cervical cancer mortality and the risk of late-stage diagnosis increased over time. Most deaths in 2007 may have been averted by eliminating SES disparities.
Copyright © 2012 American Cancer Society.