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Prev Med. 2010 Jan-Feb;50(1-2):81-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ypmed.2009.11.005. Epub 2009 Nov 22.

Follow-up for cervical abnormalities in a managed care plan, 1999-2004.

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  • 1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Atlanta, GA 30341, USA.



The objective of this study was to determine the follow-up for women after receiving an abnormal Pap test before and after the updated American Society of Colposcopic and Cervical Pathology (ASCCP) guidelines for management of abnormal cytology.


In 1999 and 2004, women who had been enrolled in a US health care plan for at least 21 months and were between 18 and 70 years of age were included. We calculated differences in type of follow-up between the time periods before and after ASCCP guideline changes in 2002.


Overall, 1.7 million women met study criteria and received at least one Pap test. Overall, 227,802 (14%) women received additional follow-up. Of these women, 73% had a repeat Pap test within 9 months as their first follow-up, 13% received colposcopy, and 7% had other events. The proportion of women receiving a repeat Pap test decreased significantly during the post-guideline time period. The odds of a woman receiving a colposcopy versus a repeat Pap test were 41% higher in the post-guideline period, after controlling for other variables.


Our findings indicate that for the time period after the ASCCP guidelines changed, more colposcopies and fewer repeat Pap tests were performed as a follow-up of abnormal Pap test.

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