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Reprod Health Matters. 2008 Nov;16(32):50-8. doi: 10.1016/S0968-8080(08)32410-0.

Social inequality in Pap smear coverage: identifying under-users of cervical cancer screening in Argentina.

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1
Centro de Estudios de Estado y Sociedad (CEDES) and Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas (CONICET), Buenos Aires, Argentina. silviarrossi@cedes.org

Abstract

In Argentina, the unequal distribution of the burden of cervical cancer is striking: the mortality rate of the province of Jujuy (15/100,000) is almost four times higher than that of the city of Buenos Aires (4/100,000). We aimed to establish the socio-demographic profile of women who were under-users of Pap smear screening, based on an analysis of a representative sample of Argentinean women from the First National Survey on Risk Factors in 2005. We found that in Argentina, women who are poor, unmarried, unemployed or inactive, with lower levels of education and reduced access to health care, and women over the age of 65, were under-users of screening. Screening must not remain opportunistic. Strategies must incorporate the needs and perceptions of socially disadvantaged women, and increase their access to screening. Of utmost importance is to provide good quality screening and treatment services that reach women who are at risk. Pilot projects using new, alternative technologies should be encouraged in less developed parts of the country. Promotion among health professionals of the scientific basis and effectiveness of each screening modality is essential to reduce wasteful practices such as annual screening and screening of young women that waste resources and fail to reduce cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates.

PMID:
19027622
DOI:
10.1016/S0968-8080(08)32410-0
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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