Lack of health insurance hampers recommended cancer screening in unemployed adults: Wiley


22 NOV 2021 (NewsRx) – By Journalist-Staff News Editor at NewsRx COVID-19 Daily – In a recent study, the unemployed were less likely to have health insurance and be up to date on getting recommended cancer screening tests. Analyzes found that their lack of health insurance coverage fully explained their lower testing rates. The findings are published by Wiley online in CANCER, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment rates in United States reached levels not seen since the Great Depression. Examine associations between unemployment, health insurance and cancer screening, Stacey Fedewa, PhD, from American Cancer Society, and his colleagues analyzed information from adults under 65 who responded to the 2000-2018 questionnaire National Health Interview SurveyA representative annual national survey of the general population.

Unemployed adults were four times more likely to have no insurance than employed adults (41.4% vs. 10.0%). A smaller proportion of unemployed adults had received an update for cancer of the cervix (78.5% vs. 86.2%), breast (67.8% vs. 77.5%), colorectal cancer (41.9% versus 48.5%) and prostate cancer (25.4% versus 36.4%) screening. These differences were eliminated after taking into account health insurance coverage.

“People who were unemployed at the time of the survey were less likely to have had a recent cancer screening test and they were also less likely to be up to date with their long-term cancer screening tests. This suggests that being unemployed at some point may hamper both recent and potentially longer-term testing practices, ”said Dr. Fedewa. This can increase the risk of a person being diagnosed with late stage cancer, which is more difficult to treat than cancer which is detected at an early stage.

“Our conclusion that insurance coverage fully takes into account the low uptake of cancer screening among unemployed adults is potentially good news, because it is modifiable.” Dr. Fedewa added. “When people are unemployed and have health insurance, they have screening rates similar to those of employed adults. “

The results underscore the importance of insurance coverage in enabling individuals to receive recommended cancer screening tests and indicate that increased efforts are needed to provide insurance to everyone, regardless of employment status.

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Full citation:

“Unemployment and Cancer Screening: Baseline Estimates to Inform Health Care Delivery Amid COVID-19 Economic Distress.” ” Stacey A. Fedewa, K. Robin Yabroff, Priti Bandi, Robert A. Smith, Nigar Nargis, Zhiyuan Zheng, Jeffrey Drope, and Ahmadine Djemal. CANCER; Published online: November 8, 2021 (DOI: 10.1002 / cncr.33966).

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Contact the author: Paul McGee To [email protected]

About CANCER Journal is a peer-reviewed publication of the American Cancer Society integrating scientific information from global sources for all oncology specialties. The aim of CANCER is to provide an interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of information between oncological disciplines concerned with the etiology, evolution and treatment of human cancer. CANCER is published on behalf of the American Cancer Society by Wiley and can be viewed online.

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