Racial/ethnic differences in screening for colon cancer: Report from the New York cancer project

David Vlahov, Jennifer Ahern, Tara Vazquez, Stephen Johnson, Laura A. Philips, Denis Nash, Maria K. Mitchell, Harold Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: To determine whether racial/ethnic differences in colon cancer screening are independent of socioeconomic and personal risk factors. Design: Baseline cross-section for a prospective cohort. Method: We recruited adults between 2000 and 2002 to undergo a questionnaire and venipuncture to study cancer risks. Results: Among 5,595 adults over 50 years old, 40.3% reported sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy within the prior five years; rates were 48.0% for Whites, 32.8% for Blacks, 27.9% for Hispanics, 30.3% for Asians, and 33.3% for others. Adjusting for age, gender, access to care (as income and insurance), and risk profile (as cancer in family, smoking, and obesity), Blacks and Hispanics were less likely to have been screened than Whites. Conclusions: Screening for colon cancer is low, especially among racial/ethnic minorities. Sociocultural factors merit closer attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-83
Number of pages8
JournalEthnicity and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Colon cancer
  • Colonoscopy
  • Disparities
  • Ethnicity
  • Race
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Epidemiology


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