Minorities Less Likely To Be Screened For Colon Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Blacks,Hispanics and Asian-Americans are less likely to be screened for colon cancerthan whites, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Archivesof Internal Medicine, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. For the report,researchers from the University of California- Davis School of Medicine analyzed data from two national surveys, whichincluded information on 22,973 adults over age 49.

Researchers found that 48% of blacks, 37% of Hispanics and 34% ofAsian-Americans had received a colonoscopy or underwent diagnostic testing forcolon cancer, compared with 57% of whites. The disparities between whites,blacks and Hispanics disappeared after adjusting for socioeconomic factors,such as access to health care and language barriers. Researchers said thereason for the finding remains unknown.

Still, even after the adjustments, Asian-Americans were less likely than othersto be screened, which could mean that cultural factors are behind the lowerrates, the study found. The study notes that Asian-Americans might have"core health beliefs and values that differ from those in the 'Western'health model, leading them to" forgo screenings until symptoms worsen(McCullough, Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/24).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Weekly Health Disparities Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Weekly HealthDisparities Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of TheHenry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.