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Health Aff (Millwood). 2009 Jan-Feb;28(1):169-77. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.28.1.169.

Colorectal cancer screening: prevalence among low-income groups with health insurance.

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  • 1Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. karen_m_emmons@dfci.harvard.edu


We examined the prevalence of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening in a low-income, racial/ethnic minority sample, among whom 97 percent had health insurance that covered CRC screening. This is a model for examining the impact of health insurance on racial/ethnic disparities in screening. Screening rates (67 percent self-reported; 52 percent adjusted based on a validation substudy) were higher than among similar population-based samples who have lower levels of insurance coverage. There were no differences by race/ethnicity. This study suggests that insurance coverage for CRC screening should be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to address CRC disparities.

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