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J Rural Health. 2012 Summer;28(3):312-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1748-0361.2012.00405.x. Epub 2012 Apr 4.

Self-reported cancer screening among elderly Medicare beneficiaries: a rural-urban comparison.

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1
Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, USA. Lin_Fan@urmc.rochester.edu

Abstract

PURPOSE:

We examined the rural-urban disparity of screening for breast cancer and colorectal cancer (CRC) among the elder Medicare beneficiaries and assessed rurality's independent impact on receipt of screening.

METHODS:

Using 2005 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey, we applied weighted logistic regression to estimate the overall rural-urban disparity and rurality's independent impact on cancer screening, controlling for patient, and area factors.

RESULTS:

From urban, large rural, small rural, and isolated rural areas, the rates for mammogram last year were 53%, 52%, 45%, and 44%, respectively. They were 56%, 50%, 48%, and 43% for CRC screening, respectively. After controlling for patient and area level characteristics, rurality is significantly associated with CRC screening, but not mammogram.

CONCLUSIONS:

We found rural-urban disparities for both mammogram and CRC screenings. Patient and area factors totally eliminated the rural-urban disparity for mammogram but not CRC screening. Health promotions to improve cancer screening should focus more on small and isolated rural areas.

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