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Impact of Perceived Racial Discrimination on Health Screening in Black Women


Perceived discrimination has been shown to be related to health screening behavior. The present study examines the effect of discrimination on cancer screening among women in the Black Women's Health Study. Five self-report items measured discrimination in everyday life and three items measured experiences of major discrimination. Logistic regression was used to test associations of discrimination with Pap smear, mammography, or colonoscopy utilization. At the start of follow-up, 88.8% had a Pap smear in the previous year, 52.7% had a mammogram, and 20.0% had received a colonoscopy. Both everyday and major discrimination were associated with not having received a Pap smear, even after adjusting for other variables. Discrimination was not associated with mammography or colonoscopy utilization. In conclusion, perceived everyday and major discrimination is associated with poorer utilization of Pap smears for cervical cancer screening among Black women.

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