Among US men, prostate cancer is the leading malignancy diagnosed and the second leading cause of cancer death. Disparities in cancer screening rates exist between American Indians/Alaska Natives and other racial/ethnic groups. Our study objectives were to examine prostate screening at 5 time points over a 12-year period among American Indian/Alaska Native men aged 50 to 75 years, and to compare their screening rates to African American men and white men in the same age group.
We analyzed Health and Retirement Study data for 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004, and 2008. Prostate screening was measured by self-report of receipt of a prostate examination within the previous 2 years. Age-adjusted prevalence was estimated for each year. We used regression with generalized estimating equations to compare prostate screening prevalence by year and race.
Our analytic sample included 119 American Indian/Alaska Native men (n = 333 observations), 1,359 African American men (n = 3,704 observations), and 8,226 white men (n = 24,292 observations). From 1996 to 2008, prostate screening rates changed for each group: from 57.0% to 55.7% among American Indians/Alaska Natives, from 62.0% to 71.2% among African Americans, and from 68.6% to 71.3% among whites. Although the disparity between whites and African Americans shrank over time, it was virtually unchanged between whites and American Indians/Alaska Natives.
As of 2008, American Indians/Alaska Natives were less likely than African Americans and whites to report a prostate examination within the previous 2 years. Prevalence trends indicated a modest increase in prostate cancer screening among African Americans and whites, while rates remained substantially lower for American Indians/Alaska Natives.
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