Cancer prevention behaviors in low-income urban whites: An understudied problem

Janice V. Bowie, Hee Soon Juon, Lisa C. Dubay, Lydie A. Lebrun, Barbara A. Curbow, Roland J. Thorpe, Thomas A. Laveist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Low-income urban whites in the United States have largely gone unexamined in health disparities research. In this study, we explored cancer prevention behaviors in this population. We compared data on whites with low socioeconomic status (SES) from the 2003 Exploring Health Disparities in Integrated Communities Study in Southwest Baltimore, Maryland (EHDIC-SWB) with nationally representative data for low SES white respondents from the 2003 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Rates for health behaviors and health indicators for whites from the EHDIC-SWB study as compared to NHIS prevalence estimates were as follows: current cigarette smoking, 59% (31% nationally); current regular drinking, 5% (5% nationally); overweight, 26% (32% nationally); obesity, 30% (22% nationally); mammography in the past 2 years, 50% (57% nationally); Pap smear in the past 2 years, 64% (68% nationally); screening for colon cancer in the past 2 years, 41% (30% nationally); and fair or poor self-reported health, 37% (22% nationally). Several cancer prevention behaviors and health indicators for white EHDIC-SWB respondents were far from the Healthy People 2010 objectives. This study provides rare estimates of cancer-related health and health care measures in an understudied population in the United States. Findings illustrate the need for further examination of health behaviors in low SES white urban populations who may share health risks with their poor minority urban counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)861-871
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Urban Health
Volume86
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2009

Keywords

  • Health disparities
  • Preventive health
  • Socioeconomic status
  • Urban health
  • White

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Urban Studies
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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