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Follow-up after abnormal cervical cancer screening in immigrants compared with Danish-born women - A nationwide register study

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Cervical cancer screening is offered free-of-charge to women aged 23-64 years in Denmark. Immigrants participate less in screening than Danish-born women, but little is known about their participation in follow-up after abnormal screening results. In this registry-based cohort study, we examined the likelihood of timely follow-up after an abnormal cervical cytology in immigrants from different countries and regions compared with Danish-born women. In nationwide registers, we identified women aged 23-64 years with high-grade (n = 74,335) or low-grade (n = 174,038) abnormal cytology during 1997-2017. Timely follow-up was defined as a new examination within six months for high-grade and 18 months for low-grade abnormalities. We calculated the probability of timely follow-up by country and region of origin and estimated odds ratios (ORs) of timely follow-up between immigrants and Danish-born women. The proportions with timely follow-up after high-grade abnormalities ranged from 90.6%-95.1% in immigrants from different countries or regions, compared with 95.5% in Danish-born women. For low-grade abnormalities, follow-up ranged from 75.2%-92.8% in immigrants, compared with 90.6% in Danish-born women. Women from Sub-Saharan Africa had low probability of timely follow-up after both high-grade (90.9%) and low-grade (75.2%) abnormalities. The differences between immigrants and Danish-born women remained when adjusting for age, year, income, employment and marital status. In conclusion, immigrants from most countries and regions were slightly less likely than Danish-born women to receive timely follow-up after abnormal cervical cytology, also after adjusting for socioeconomic differences. Efforts should be made to improve follow-up of abnormal screening results in immigrant groups with low attendance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106776
JournalPreventive Medicine
Pages (from-to)106776
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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