Chronic comorbidities and cervical cancer screening and adherence among US-born and foreign-born women

Leslie E. Cofie, Jacqueline M. Hirth, Rebeca Wong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Purpose: Whereas chronic conditions and foreign-birth have an inverse relationship with cervical cancer screening, the combined effect of these factors on screening is unknown. This study examined the associations between chronic comorbidities and Pap screening recommendations and adherence, and whether these associations vary between foreign- and US-born women. Methods: In 2017, data from 2013 and 2015 National Health Interview Survey on women aged 21–65 years (N = 20,080) were analyzed. Bivariate associations between chronic comorbidities (hypertension, diabetes, and obesity) and cervical cancer screening recommendation and adherence (screened in the last 3 years) were examined using Chi-square analysis. Multivariate binary logistic regression was used to examine the association between foreign-born status and participant Pap test adherence, adjusting for physician Pap test recommendation and chronic comorbidities. Results: Obesity, hypertension, and diabetes were positively associated with Pap screening recommendation. Hypertension and diabetes were negatively associated with screening adherence. Pap screening recommendation (60% vs. 57%, p < 0.05) and adherence (85% vs. 78%, p < 0.001) were higher among foreign-born than US-born women. After adjusting for chronic conditions, foreign-born women had significantly lower odds of receiving Pap tests compared with US-born women (OR 0.8, 95% CI 0.6–0.9). In stratified analysis, only obesity was associated with Pap testing among US-born and foreign-born women. Among foreign-born women, the association between obesity and Pap testing was attenuated after controlling for years lived in the US and citizenship. Conclusion: Public health intervention efforts must improve regular access to preventive care and encourage Pap screening among women diagnosed with chronic conditions. Future research should further identify additional factors driving the cervical cancer screening practices of both US- and foreign-born women with and without chronic conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1105-1113
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • Cervical cancer screening
  • Diabetes
  • Foreign-born women
  • Hypertension
  • Obesity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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