Background: Hispanic women and older women (age ≥ 50 years) in general have been identified as populations of women who often underutilize Papanicolaou (Pap) smears. Objective: To report the rates of cervical cancer screening in a group of older Mexican American women and to identify the correlates of having a Pap smear in the past three years. Data Source: The Mammography Use by Older Mexican-American Women Survey, a stratified area probability sample of 452 women ages 50-74 from three southeast Texas counties. Self-report data was collected with in-person interviews from 1997 to 1999. Results: We found that 93.1% of the women reported at least one Pap smear in their lifetime and that 64.1% reported a Pap smear in the past three years. Odds of reporting a recent Pap smear was lower for older women (OR 0.51, 95% CI 0.32-0.82) and those below the poverty line (OR 0.52, 95% CI 0.33-0.82). The odds were higher for women who had a regular doctor for female care (OR 6.49, 95% CI 2.96-14.23) or a regular clinic or hospital source for female care (OR 5.50, 95% CI 2.55-11.89). Among these older Mexican-American women, cultural factors (language of interview, acculturation, fatalism) did not have a significant effect on screening use. Conclusion: Recent Pap smear use (64.1%) falls well below the year 2010 goal of 90%. Efforts need to be made to overcome barriers to Pap smear utilization for these women, such as providing access to female medical care.
- Health services accessibility
- Hispanic Americans
- Mass screening
- Vaginal smears
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