Cervical cancer screening in medically underserved California Latina and non-Latina women: Effect of age and regularity of Pap testing

Lydia P Howell, Sunitha Gurusinghe, Farzaneh Tabnak, Stan Sciortino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: This study focuses on age, race/ethnicity and regular cervical cancer screening of medically underserved Latina and non-Latina women enrolled in California's Cancer Detection Programs: Every Woman Counts (CDP: EWC). Methods: Data from a cohort of women were evaluated for regularity of screening and ethnicity utilizing multi-category logistic regression models to investigate Pap test and biopsy results. Results: There was no statistically significant difference among medically underserved Latina or non-Latina women in Pap test result and stage of cervical cancer after controlling for age and screening regularity. Rarely/never Pap-tested women were more likely to have 'SIL/ASC' (odds ratio = 1.19; 95% confidence interval = 1.08, 1.31) compared to women who were screened regularly. Medically underserved 25-39-year-old women were also more likely to be identified with 'SIL/ASC' (odds ratio = 1.64; 95% confidence interval = 1.50, 1.79) than women 50 and over. Younger were more likely to have low-grade 'HPV/Condylomata, Atypia/CINI/LSIL' (odds ratio = 2.48; 95% confidence interval = 1.66, 3.72) and high-grade 'CIN II/III/HSIL/CI/Other Cancers' (odds ratio = 1.53; 95% confidence interval = 1.08, 2.16) than women age 40 and above, similar to rarely/never Pap-tested women. Conclusions: Women were more likely to be identified with high-grade precancerous cervical lesions and cancer process when they did not have regular screening, Ethnic differences in screening outcomes seem to be minimized by participation in a program that provides consistent screening resources to the medically underserved women who enroll. These findings support prevention strategies that expand screening to all medically underserved younger women or that provide HPV vaccination at an early age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)372-379
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Epidemiology
Issue number5-6
StatePublished - 2009


  • ASC-H
  • ASC-US
  • Cancer screening
  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Cervical dysplasia
  • Cervical intraepithelial neoplasia
  • Health disparities
  • HSIL
  • LSIL
  • Multi-category regression
  • Papanicolaou test
  • Squamous cell cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology
  • Epidemiology


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