Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 20, Issue 3, pp 290–296 | Cite as

Impact of U.S. Citizenship status on cancer screening among immigrant women

  • Israel De Alba
  • F. Allan Hubbell
  • Juliet M. McMullin
  • Jamie M. Sweningson
  • Richard Saitz
Original Articles


OBJECTIVE: We evaluated the relationship between U.S. citizenship status and the receipt of Pap smears and mammograms among immigrant women in California.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study using data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey.

PATIENTS/PARTICIPANTS: Noninstitutionalized, civilian women, aged 18 years and older living in California.

MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We analyzed data from the 2001 California Health Interview Survey and used logistic regression models to adjust for sociodemographic factors and for access and utilization of health services. After adjusting we found that U.S. citizen immigrants were significantly more likely to report receiving a Pap smear ever (adjusted prevalence ratio [aPR], 1.05; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.01 to 1.08), a recent Pap smear (aPR, 1.07; 95% CI, 1.03 to 1.11), a mammogram ever (aPR, 1.17; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.21), and a recent mammogram (aPR, 1.38; 95% CI, 1.26 to 1.49) as compared to immigrants who are not U.S. citizens. Also associated with receiving cancer screening were income, having a usual source of care, and having health insurance. Hispanic women were more likely to receive Pap smears as compared to whites and Asians.

CONCLUSIONS: Not being a U.S. citizen is a barrier to receiving cervical and breast cancer screening. Additional research is needed to explore causal factors for differences in cancer screening rates between citizens and noncitizens.


citizenship immigrant Pap smear mammogram women 


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Israel De Alba
    • 1
    • 2
  • F. Allan Hubbell
    • 1
    • 2
  • Juliet M. McMullin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Jamie M. Sweningson
    • 2
  • Richard Saitz
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Division of General Internal Medicine and Primary Care, Department of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  2. 2.Center for Health Policy and ResearchUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  3. 3.Department of Anthropology, School of Social EcologyUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA
  4. 4.Clinical Addiction Research and Education Unit, Section of General Internal Medicine, Department of MedicineBoston University School of Medicine and Boston Medical CenterBostonUSA
  5. 5.Department of EpidemiologyBoston University School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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