Publication Abstract

Authors: Vadaparampil ST, Wideroff L, Breen N, Trapido E

Title: The impact of acculturation on awareness of genetic testing for increased cancer risk among Hispanics in the year 2000 National Health Interview Survey.

Journal: Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 15(4):618-23

Date: 2006 Apr

Abstract: Previous studies suggest disparities in use of preventive cancer services among U.S. Hispanics are partly explained by knowledge and access factors. One area of emerging interest is uptake of genetic counseling and testing services by underserved populations. This study aims to estimate the percentage of Hispanics in five ethnic subgroups who are aware of genetic testing for inherited cancer risk, and to assess the influence of acculturation factors primarily related to language on test awareness. Weighted data from 4,313 Hispanic respondents (age >25 years) in the year 2000 National Health Interview Survey were analyzed. Overall, 20.6% of Hispanics had heard of genetic testing for cancer risk, with percentages highest among Puerto Ricans (27.3%) and lowest among Mexicans (14.3%). Completing the interview in Spanish and English [odds ratio (OR), 0.52; 95% confidence interval (95% CI), 0.35-0.78], or only Spanish (OR, 0.60; 95% CI, 0.42-0.86), was inversely associated with test awareness (reference group, only English). Having an intermediate (OR, 0.66; 95% CI, 0.48-0.90) or low (OR, 0.63; 95% CI, 0.39-1.01) level of English language preference was also inversely associated (reference, high level) whereas being born outside the United States was weakly associated (OR, 0.80; 95% CI, 0.57-1.11). Estimates were adjusted for age, education, ethnicity, parents' cancer history, health care access, and selected health behaviors and beliefs. Results of this national survey indicate that acculturation factors related to language may affect cancer genetic test awareness in Hispanics. These factors must be taken into account when informing individuals about the role of genetics in cancer risk and providing cancer genetic health services.