JOURNAL ARTICLE

Influence of family history and preventive health behaviors on colorectal cancer screening in African Americans

Kathleen A Griffith, Deborah B McGuire, Renee Royak-Schaler, Keith O Plowden, Eileen K Steinberger
Cancer 2008 July 15, 113 (2): 276-85
18543276

BACKGROUND: African Americans (AAs) have low rates of colorectal cancer (CRC) screening. To the authors' knowledge, factors that influence their participation, especially individuals with a family history of CRC ("family history"), are not well understood.

METHODS: A secondary analysis of the 2002 Maryland Cancer Survey data examined predictors of risk-appropriate, timely CRC screening ("screening") in AAs with a family history and in individuals without a family history. Predictors that were evaluated included age, sex, family history, mammogram or prostate-specific antigen (PSA) screening, body mass index, activity, fruit/vegetable consumption, alcohol, smoking, perceived risk of cancer, education, employment, insurance, access to a healthcare provider, and healthcare provider recommendation of fecal occult blood test (FOBT) and/or sigmoidoscopy/colonoscopy.

RESULTS: In individuals without a family history of CRC (N = 492), recommendation for FOBT (odds ratio [OR] of 11.90; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 6.84-20.71) and sigmoidoscopy/colonscopy (OR of 7.06; 95% CI, 4.11-12.14), moderate/vigorous activity (OR of 1.74; 95% CI, 1.06-2.28), and PSA screening history (OR of 2.68; 95% CI, 1.01-7.81) were found to be predictive of screening. In individuals with a family history (N = 88), recommendation for sigmoidoscopy/colonscopy (OR of 24.3; 95%, CI 5.30-111.34) and vigorous activity (OR of 5.21; 95% CI, 1.09-24.88) were found to be predictive of screening. However, family history did not predict screening when the analysis was controlled for age, education, and insurance. AAs who had a family history were less likely to screen compared with their white counterparts (N = 293) and compared with AAs who were at average risk for CRC (P < .05).

CONCLUSIONS: Regardless of family history, healthcare provider recommendation and activity level were important predictors of screening. Lower screening rates were observed in AAs who had a family history compared with individuals who did not. The authors believe that, for AAs who have a family history, further examination of barriers and facilitators to CRC screening within the cultural context is warranted.

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