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Cancer Detect Prev. 2006;30(3):306-12. Epub 2006 Jul 26.

Hispanic acculturation and utilization of colorectal cancer screening in the United States.

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  • 1United States Military Cancer Institute, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC 20307-5001, USA. mona.shah@na.amedd.army.mil

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Despite the evidence on the effectiveness of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening procedures, its use remains low, especially among Hispanics. Social-cultural factors may play a role in the underutilization of cancer screening. This study aimed to examine whether low acculturation was a risk factor for the underutilization of colorectal cancer screening in the Hispanic population.

METHODS:

The subjects were adults aged 50-80 years who identified themselves as Hispanic and never were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. Colorectal cancer screening utilization was assessed based on the use of at-home Fecal Occult Blood Test (FOBT) and the use of endoscopies (sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy, or proctoscopy). Respondents who underwent a test for diagnostic purposes were excluded from the study.

RESULTS:

Our data showed that colorectal screening was underused in Hispanics compared to non-Hispanic Whites. There was a trend that acculturation level was inversely correlated with having an endoscopy in the past 5 years. This trend was also seen with having a FOBT in the past year or an endoscopy in the past 5 years. However, the association disappeared after adjusting for factors pertaining to utilizing other health care services. Additionally, after stratifying by gender, the association between the two variables was diluted.

CONCLUSIONS:

The findings show that low acculturation was associated with the underutilization of endoscopic colorectal cancer screening. This association may be related to lower utilization of health care services and/or language barriers that may contribute to the lower utilization.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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