Surveillance of Colorectal Cancer Screening in New Mexico Hispanics and Non-Hispanic Whites
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The incidence of colorectal cancer (CRC) among Hispanics in the state of New Mexico has increased in the past decade while that among whites has declined significantly. Using the 2006 New Mexico Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey, we compared CRC screening among Hispanics and whites by gender to examine the influence of demographic, socioeconomic, preventive health, and clinical measures on the utilization of CRC screening. Although we found no ethnic differences in the prevalence of current breast, cervical and cancer screening, Hispanics were less likely to be current with CRC screening than whites. These differences were observed across a range of socioeconomic and other explanatory measures and in both genders. Hispanics also had a higher prevalence of CRC-related risk factors than whites, including inactivity, obesity, and diabetes, and ranked lower for most socioeconomic measures. Adjusting for healthcare coverage, education, and income in logistic regression models eliminated the Hispanic-white differences in CRC screening among men, and substantially reduced but did not eliminate screening differences among women. Innovative methods are needed to reach Hispanics to raise awareness of and participation in CRC screening. Because many CRC risk factors are potentially modifiable, appropriate cultural and linguistic interventions tailored to specific Hispanic subgroups and aimed at promoting CRC screening and reducing CRC risk factors may decrease ethnic disparities in CRC incidence.
KeywordsBehavioral risk factor surveillance system Hispanics Healthcare disparities Colorectal cancer Screening
We wish to thank Wayne Honey, MPH, at the New Mexico Department of Health for providing the New Mexico BRFSS data for this analysis. Dr. Gonzales was supported by the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences K01 ES014003.
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