New Immigrants Less Likely to Undergo Pap Test


WASHINGTON — Foreign-born women living in the United States were significantly less likely to have had a Pap test within the past 3 years, compared with American-born women, Xu Wang, M.D., and colleagues reported in a poster presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Preventive Medicine.

Immigration status was associated with lower Pap test use independently of poverty, lack of insurance, and lack of a regular source of medical care, noted Dr. Wang and associates of Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tennessee.

The logistic regression analysis included data on 16,505 women taken from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey. Overall, the age-adjusted percentage of women who had Pap tests within the past 3 years increased the longer they lived in the United States. Only 47% of women who immigrated less than 5 years ago had undergone Pap tests, compared with 58% of women who immigrated 5-9 years ago, and 78% of American-born women.

Compared with the American-born women, the foreign-born women in the survey were more likely to be younger, impoverished, uninsured, educated at less than high school level, and lacking a regular source of health care.

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