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Cancer Epidemiol. 2014 Apr;38(2):162-7. doi: 10.1016/j.canep.2014.02.007. Epub 2014 Mar 22.

Ethnic differences and predictors of colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen, and mammography screening participation in the multiethnic cohort.

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University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. Electronic address:
University of Hawaii Cancer Center, 701 Ilalo Street, Suite 500, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.
University of Southern California, Health Sciences Campus, NRT Lg 1502, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA.



Given the relation between screening and improved cancer outcomes and the persistence of ethnic disparities in cancer mortality, we explored ethnic differences in colonoscopy, prostate-specific antigen (PSA), and mammography screening in the Multiethnic Cohort Study.


Logistic regression was applied to examine the influence of ethnicity as well as demographics, lifestyle factors, comorbidities, family history of cancer, and previous screening history on self-reported screening participation collected in 1999-2002.


The analysis included 140,398 participants who identified as white, African American, Native Hawaiian, Japanese American, US born-Latino, or Mexican born-Latino. The screening prevalences overall were mammography: 88% of women, PSA: 45% of men, and colonoscopy: 35% of men and women. All minority groups reported 10-40% lower screening utilization than whites, but Mexican-born Latinos and Native Hawaiian were lowest. Men were nearly twice as likely to have a colonoscopy (OR=1.94, 95% CI=1.89-1.99) as women. A personal screening history, presence of comorbidities, and family history of cancer predicted higher screening utilization across modalities, but to different degrees across ethnic groups.


This study confirms previously reported sex differences in colorectal cancer screening and ethnic disparities in screening participation. The findings suggest it may be useful to include personal screening history and family history of cancer into counseling patients about screening participation.


Cancer screening; Colonoscopy; Ethnic differences; Mammogram; PSA

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