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Asian Pac J Cancer Prev. 2012;13(11):5501-4.

Comparison of Pap smear screening results between Akha hill tribe and urban women in Chiang Rai province, Thailand.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand.


Cervical cancer is an important woman's health problems worldwide, especially in low socio-economic countries. The aim of this study was to compare the Pap smear screening results between Akha hill tribe and urban women who live in Chiang Rai province, Thailand. Screening was conducted for 1,100 Akha women and 1,100 urban women who came to have the Pap smear at Chiangrai Prachanukroh Hospital and 1 private cytology laboratory from January to June 2008. The demographic characteristics and factors related to abnormal Pap smears of these women were gathered using closed model questionnaires. Abnormal Rap smears were defined according to the Bethesda 2001 system. The results showed that the prevalence of abnormal Pap smears was 12.2% in Akha women and 4.5% in urban women. The highest prevalence of Pap abnormalities was found in the 41-50 years age group in both populations (4.5% in Akha and 1.7% in urban women). In both populations, abnormal Pap smears were found in <21 years age groups. From the questionnaires, the possible risk factors related to the higher prevalence of abnormal Pap smears in Akha women were early age at marriage (≤17 years), high frequency pregnacies and high parity and no/low education level. In conclusion, cervical cancer control by education and early detection by Pap smear screening is necessary for hill tribe women. More Pap smear screening service units should be set to improve the coverage for the risk group women who got married in young age, especial in ethnic groups.

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