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Younger Women Start to Follow Pap Test Guidelines: CDC
Date:1/3/2013

id the agency's public health efforts are focused on women at highest risk. Cervical cancer is rare for women under age 21, which is why screening is not recommended for that age group, she explained.

"We need to remain vigilant and increase screening among women who would benefit most from this preventive service," Houston added.

The studies, based on data from the CDC's Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System, also found the following:

  • "Recent" Pap tests -- meaning tests within the past three years -- declined in women aged 30 and older who had not had hysterectomies. This was largely because Pap tests decreased in women 65 and older, from almost 74 percent in 2000 to about 65 percent in 2010.
  • Almost 59 percent of women aged 30 and older who had their reproductive organs removed had a Pap test in 2010, down from more than 73 percent in 2000.
  • Contrary to recommendations, 9 percent of women between the ages of 22 and 30 had not been screened, up from less than 7 percent in 2000.
  • Among women aged 30 to 64, recommended Pap tests within the previous three years decreased among those lacking health insurance -- to about 69 percent in 2010 from about 75 percent in 2000.

Under the Affordable Care Act, many women can obtain cervical cancer screenings through private health plans and Medicare with no co-pays or other out-of-pocket costs, the CDC noted.

More information

To learn more about the screening guidelines, visit the CDC's cervical cancer screening guidelines chart.

-- Margaret Steele

SOURCE: U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, news release, Jan. 3, 2013


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