BACKGROUND - A few previous studies have shown that men were more likely than women to be screened for colorectal cancer (CRC).
METHODS - The 2000 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) was administered to 32,374 adults > or = 18 years of age. Participants were asked if they ever had a sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy and if they ever had a home fecal occult blood test (FOBT). Men and women > or = 50 years were eligible for analysis. Participants were considered to be current in testing if they reported sigmoidoscopy in the last 5 years, colonoscopy in the last 10 years, or home FOBT in the last 1 year.
RESULTS - Overall, 62.9% of adults had ever had CRC testing, and 37.1% were current for testing. Compared to older men, a greater proportion of older women were not current for testing (62.6% for women vs. 56.7% for men > 75 years). In multivariate analysis, women were not less likely than men to be current in CRC testing (OR 0.98, 95% CI 0.88-1.08). When compared with white women, black women were less likely to be current for CRC screening (OR 0.79, 95% CI 0.65-0.95).
CONCLUSIONS - CRC screening is underused. Targeting interventions to improve CRC screening for all appropriate patients will be important.