Background: There is limited information related to the effects of education and literacy on cancer screening practices among older adults in Latin American and Caribbean countries. Methods: To determine the association between education and cancer screening use, we developed a cross-sectional study using data from the Health, Well-Being and Aging in Latin America and the Caribbean Study. The sample included 4,183 men and 6,708 women aged 60 years and older from seven cities. The outcomes are mammogram and Pap smear use in women and prostate examination use in men within the last 2 years. Results: In general, illiterate or lower-educated older men and women have the lowest rates of cancer screening use compared with higher-educated counterparts. Multivariate logistic models, by city and in a combined sample of six cities showed that high education is associated with higher odds of having a mammogram or a Pap smear in women and a prostate examination in men. Conclusions: Older adults with low educational or literacy levels should be targeted for screening programs in these populations.
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