Blacks, Hispanics Have Lower Colorectal Cancer Screening Rates, Study Finds
Blacks and Hispanics have lower colorectal cancer screening rates than whites, according to a study published in the Feb. 12 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine, HealthDay/Asbury Park Press reports. For the study, researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin analyzed 2002 and 2003 data on nearly 600,000 Medicare beneficiaries in Florida, Illinois and New York state. Of those beneficiaries, 18.3% were screened for colorectal cancer. Researchers found that 9.7% of blacks and 8.1% of Hispanics were screened for colorectal cancer, compared with 19.3% of whites. In addition, 14.6% of individuals living in ZIP codes with a lower per capita income were screened, compared with 21% of those living in ZIP codes with a higher per capita income. Researchers said, "There is evidence that screening for colorectal cancer decreases incidence and mortality from the disease," adding, "Further research is needed to determine the basis for the observed ongoing disparities to develop interventions to reduce and eliminate these differences" (HealthDay/Asbury Park Press, 2/14).
An abstract of the study is available online.