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Environ Health Prev Med. 2007 Mar;12(2):90-6. doi: 10.1007/BF02898155.

Socioeconomic status and cancer screening in Japanese males: Large inequlaity in middle-aged and urban residents.

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  • 1Health Promotion/International Health, Division of Public Health, Graduate School of Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan,



Cancer screening has become common in Japan. However, little is known about the socioeconomic factors affecting cancer screening participation. This study was performed to examine the association between socioeconomic status and cancer screening participation in Japanese males.


Using the data of 23,394 males sampled from across Japan, the associations between self-reported participation in screenings for three types of cancer (i.e., stomach, lung and colon) and socioeconomic variables, including marital status, types of residential area (metropolitan/nonmetropolitan), household income, and employment status, were examined using multilevel logistic regression by age group (40 to 64 and ≥65 years).


The cancer screening participation rates were 34.5% (stomach), 21.3% (lung), and 24.8% (colon) for the total population studied. Being married, living in a nonmetropolitan area, having a higher income and being employed in a large-scale company showed independent associations with a higher rate of cancer screening participation for all three types of cancer. Income-related differences in cancer screening were more pronounced in the middle-aged population than in the elderly population, and in metropolitan areas than in nonmetropolitan areas.


There are notable socioeconomic differences in cancer screening participation in Japan. To promote cancer screening, socioeconomic factors should be considered, particularly for middle-aged and urban residents.


cancer screening; health inequality; socioeconomic factor; urban health

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