The influence of marital status on the use of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening.

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Preventive medicine


PURPOSE: To examine the impact of marital status on the use of screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer.

METHODS: We relied on 2012 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey age-appropriate screening cohorts. Appropriate screening for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer was determined according to United States Preventive Services Task Force recommendations in effect at the time of the 2012 survey. Complex samples logistic regression models were performed to examine the effect of marital status on cancer screening.

RESULTS: Overall, 81.6, 83.9, and 68.9% of married participants underwent breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer, respectively, relative to 74.2, 75.1, and 60.9% for divorced/widowed/separated, individuals, and 74.7, 78.7, and 53.4% for never married individuals. Marital status (married vs. never married) was an independent predictor of screening for all cancers examined: breast cancer, odds ratio (OR): 1.42 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.25-1.61); cervical cancer, OR: 1.29 (95% CI: 1.16-1.43); colorectal cancer, OR: 1.63 (95% CI: 1.51-1.77). Gender-specific subgroup analyses for colorectal cancer suggests that marital status may exert a greater effect in men, relative to women (married men: OR 1.75, 95% CI: 1.56-1.96; married women: OR: 1.52, 95% CI: 1.35-1.70).

CONCLUSION: Being married is associated with increased utilization of breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening. The influence of marital status was greater in men relative to women eligible for colorectal cancer screening. Our results emphasize the importance of social determinants of health-seeking behaviors.

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Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System; Breast Neoplasms; Colorectal Neoplasms; Early Detection of Cancer; Female; Humans; Marital Status; Sex Factors; United States; Uterine Cervical Neoplasms

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