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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

The association between socio-demographic characteristics and adherence to breast and colorectal cancer screening: Analysis of large sub populations

Rachel Wilf-Miron12*, Ronit Peled3, Einat Yaari1, Anna Vainer1, Avi Porath34 and Ehud Kokia24

Author Affiliations

1 Quality Management in Health Care, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel-Aviv, Israel

2 Faculty of Management, Tel-Aviv University, Tel-Aviv, Israel

3 Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Beer Sheva, Israel

4 Central Management, Maccabi Healthcare Services, Tel-Aviv, Israel

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:376  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-376

Published: 25 August 2011

Abstract

Background

Populations having lower socioeconomic status, as well as ethnic minorities, have demonstrated lower utilization of preventive screening, including tests for early detection of breast and colorectal cancer.

The objective

To explore socio-demographic disparities in adherence to screening recommendations for early detection of cancer.

Methods

The study was conducted by Maccabi Healthcare Services, an Israeli HMO (health plan) providing healthcare services to 1.9 million members. Utilization of breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CC) screening were analyzed by socio-economic ranks (SERs), ethnicity (Arab vs non-Arab), immigration status and ownership of voluntarily supplemental health insurance (VSHI).

Results

Data on 157,928 and 303,330 adults, eligible for BC and CC screening, respectively, were analyzed. Those having lower SER, Arabs, immigrants from Former Soviet Union countries and non-owners of VSHI performed fewer cancer screening examinations compared with those having higher SER, non-Arabs, veterans and owners of VSHI (p < 0.001). Logistic regression model for BC Screening revealed a positive association with age and ownership of VSHI and a negative association with being an Arab and having a lower SER. The model for CC screening revealed a positive association with age and ownership of VSHI and a negative association with being an Arab, having a lower SER and being an immigrant. The model estimated for BC and CC screening among females revealed a positive association with age and ownership of VSHI and a negative association with being an Arab, having a lower SER and being an immigrant.

Conclusion

Patients from low socio-economic backgrounds, Arabs, immigrants and those who do not own supplemental insurance do fewer tests for early detection of cancer. These sub-populations should be considered priority populations for targeted intervention programs and improved resource allocation.

Keywords:
Breast Cancer; Colon Cancer; Early Detection of Cancer; Health Disparities; Demographic Characteristics