Publication Abstract

Authors: Martin LM, Calle EE, Wingo PA, Heath CW Jr

Title: Comparison of mammography and Pap test use from the 1987 and 1992 National Health Interview Surveys: are we closing the gaps?

Journal: Am J Prev Med 12(2):82-90

Date: 1996 Mar-Apr

Abstract: Using data from the National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Supplements, we examined the trends in mammogram and Pap smear test screening between 1987 and 1992 and the demographic characteristics associated with the use of those screening tests in 1992. In 1992, 67% of women 40 years of age and older reported ever having had a mammogram compared with 36% in 1987. A mammogram within the past year was reported by 29% of women in 1992, an increase from 14% in 1987. Among women 18 and older, 91% had ever had a Pap smear test in 1992, and 43% had one within the past year, an increase from 89% and 38%, respectively, in 1987. These changes represented significant increases in the use of both mammograms and Pap smear tests between 1987 and 1992 (P < .05). Race was not significantly associated with underutilization of mammograms, but income showed a significant relationship, with a declining likelihood of mammogram use as income decreased (odds ratio [OR] = 0.4, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.3, 0.6 for the income less than poverty level). Pap smear tests were less likely to be reported by older women ( > or = 65), widows, and never-married women, African-American women were more likely than Caucasian women to have had a Pap smear test, and women of other races were the least likely of any race/ethnic group to have ever had one (OR = 0.2, 95% CI = 0.1, 0.4). Women with less than 12 years of education had about a 40% decreased risk of having had a recent mammogram or Pap smear test. Women without a usual source of medical care also underutilized both screening procedures. Significant gains in the use of mammograms were found for all groups between 1987 and 1992. However, for the Pap smear test, some groups reported no differences during the five-year period. Although race and ethnic differences in the rates of screening use have been reduced somewhat, socioeconomically disadvantaged women and those with poor access to health care are still important target populations for increasing screening, particularly mammograms.