Inequalities in adherence to cervical cancer screening in Portugal

This article was originally published here

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2020 Jul 22. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000612. Online ahead of print.


Cervical cancer is the second cancer with the highest incidence and mortality in women aged 15-44 living in Europe. Screening is an effective strategy to reduce these rates, although in Portugal, as in other European countries, adherence to screening still presents significant disparities. Thus, this study aimed to assess the prevalence and factors associated with cervical cancer screening (CCS) nonadherence in Portugal. Cross-sectional data from 5929 women aged 25-64 included in the 2014 Portuguese National Health Survey (2014 NHS) were analyzed. The prevalence of CCS nonadherence was estimated. The association between multiple factors and CCS nonadherence was analyzed, using logistic regression, adjusting for age and educational level. The weighted prevalence of nonadherence was 13.2% [95% confidence interval (CI): 12.0-14.0]. Additionally, 10.5% of women had performed the last cervical cytology 3 years ago or more. Higher odds of nonadherence to screening were found for younger women, with low levels of education and income, unemployed, single, born outside Portugal, who never had a medical appointment or had over 12 months ago, who were never pregnant and who had never had a mammography. No association was found with other variables studied, including having public/private health insurance, BMI or smoking status. This study showed that inequalities in CCS adherence in Portugal persist. These findings reinforce the need for developing strategies to reduce inequalities in CCS adherence.

PMID:32732693 | DOI:10.1097/CEJ.0000000000000612