Black White Disparities in Receiving a Physician Recommendation for Colorectal Cancer Screening and Reasons for not Undergoing Screening


There is consensus that all adults over 50 years of age, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity, should receive a physician recommendation for colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. Disparities in CRC screening result in poorer health outcomes for Blacks than for Whites. The purpose of this study was to determine whether there are Black-White differences in receiving a physician recommendation for CRC screening and reasons for undergoing screening. With 12,729 U.S. adults ages 50 to 74 included in the analysis, Whites were more likely than Blacks to report receiving a physician recommendation for CRC screening. Based on age-adjusted odds ratio, one out of three Blacks were less likely to report receiving a CRC screening recommendation from their physician (OR=0.68, 95% CI 0.57,0.81). This association persisted after adjusting for socioeconomic and other health-related factors (OR=0.61; 95% CI 0.53,0.71). This study suggests that additional steps need to be taken to reduce cancer health disparities.