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Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2008 May;17(5):1234-9. doi: 10.1158/1055-9965.EPI-08-0118. Epub 2008 May 7.

Effects of baseline comorbidities on cancer screening trial adherence among older African American men.

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  • 1Department of Biostatistics, Bioinformatics, and Epidemiology, Medical University of South Carolina, PO Box 250955, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of baseline comorbidities on screening adherence in a sample of older African American men (ages >or=55 years) enrolled in a case management intervention in a cancer screening trial.


Baseline comorbidity data were obtained from 683 African American men who were randomly assigned to a case management intervention group (n = 344) or to a case management control group (n = 339). The effects of comorbidities on the screening adherence rates of each group were then assessed.


No statistically significant interactions were found between each health history characteristic and the intervention. Therefore, analyses were not stratified by intervention status. In general, participants with comorbidities were no less likely to adhere to trial screening than participants without comorbidities. Exceptions were current smokers and participants with chronic bronchitis. Current smokers were less likely than others to adhere to the prostate-specific antigen test (P = 0.02) and the digital rectal examination for prostate cancer screening (P = 0.01), to the chest X-ray for lung cancer screening (P < 0.01), and to the flexible sigmoidoscopy for colorectal cancer screening (P = 0.04). Participants with chronic bronchitis had lower rates of adherence to the chest X-ray (P = 0.06). Having a relative with cancer positively influenced adherence to the digital rectal examination (P = 0.05).


Overall, older African American men with comorbidities appear to be very good candidates for participation in longitudinal cancer screening trials. However, smoking had a statistically significant and deleterious effect on adherence to all types of screening.

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