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J Med Screen. 2005;12(1):20-7.

Gender differences in utilization of colorectal cancer screening.

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  • 1Health Behaviour Unit Cancer Research UK, Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London, UK.



To assess the demographic and psychological mediators of gender differences in uptake of flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) screening for colorectal cancer.


A subsample (n=5462) from a large community trial of FS in the UK.


Men and women randomized to screening as part of the UK Flexible Sigmoidoscopy Trial were sent a postal questionnaire assessing demographic characteristics and attitudes to screening six months before their screening appointment. Attendance at screening was recorded by the screening centres.


More men than women attended screening (73% versus 67%). The higher male attendance was partially explained by their lower levels of socioeconomic deprivation, higher levels of marital status and lower perceived barriers to screening.


Contrary to expectations, men were more likely than women to attend FS screening. This was partially explained by socioeconomic and attitudinal differences to screening, but additional research is needed to understand the key aspects of FS screening that will maximize screening uptake in men and women.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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