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Study shows low uptake of colorectal cancer screening by African Americans in a Veterans Affairs healthcare network
Date:8/6/2014

DOWNERS GROVE, Ill. August 6, 2014 According to researchers in California, African Americans' participation in colorectal cancer screening is low and the use of colonoscopy infrequent despite similar access to care across races in a Veterans Affairs healthcare system. The researchers also found that having established primary care at the time of screening eligibility significantly increased screening uptake. The study appears in the August issue of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy, the monthly peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (ASGE).

Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Although CRC affects all racial and ethnic groups, African Americans carry an excessive burden of disease with the highest overall incidence, highest incidence of advanced stage at presentation, highest mortality, and lowest survival rates compared to any other ethnic or racial group. Although CRC incidence has decreased by 10 percent among whites in the past 30 years, rates have remained unchanged among African Americans over the same period.

The specific causes of CRC outcome inequalities in African Americans are not fully characterized. Biological susceptibility, a diet higher in fats and red meats, increased likelihood of smoking, social and economic disparities, and low use of screening methods have been implicated as potential contributing causes. Particular attention has been paid to low adherence to screening guidelines among African Americans, and multiple studies demonstrate that African Americans are less likely to engage in CRC screening than nonAfrican Americans.

The Veterans Affairs (VA) health system presents an ideal model to test whether patient and provider factors affect CRC screening after controlling for system-level factors. Because access inequalities are minimized in the VA setting and given recent studies indicating fewer di
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Contact: Anne Brownsey
abrownsey@asge.org
630-570-5635
American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy
Source:Eurekalert

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