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Eur J Public Health. 2009 Oct;19(5):499-503. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckp029. Epub 2009 May 12.

Results of a cervical cancer screening programme from an area of Barcelona (Spain) with a large immigrant population.

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Health Services Evaluation and Clinical Epidemiology Service, Hospital del Mar-IMIM, Passeig Marítim 25-029, Barcelona, Spain.



To assess the participation rate and results of cytological assessment in the context of cervical cancer screening activities in an area of Barcelona (Spain) with a large immigrant population.


Descriptive retrospective study of cytologies performed between 2001 and 2006 in women > or =14 years of age living in 2 out of 10 districts of Barcelona (n = 129 327) and participating in cervical cancer screening activities within a sexual and reproductive health care programme.


Between 2001 and 2006, overall participation among women aged 20- to 64-years old was 50.7%, with higher participation among women aged 20-34 years than among those aged 50-64 years (63.8 and 36.0%, respectively; P < 0.01). The median frequency was 0.5 cytologies/year. The rate of pathological results increased from 11.4 per thousand in 2001 to 29.0 per thousand in 2006 (P < 0.001). This increase was higher among younger women and was mainly due to an increase in the rate of atypical squamous cells of undetermined significance (ASCUS) and low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (L-SIL).


These results show a low rate of participation in the public cervical cancer screening programme and an increase in the number of pathological results during the study period. These results provide useful information at a time when significant changes in the prevention of cervical cancer are being planned.

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