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Women with obesity participate less in cervical cancer screening and are more likely to have unsatisfactory smears: Results from a nationwide Danish cohort study

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  • Aivara Urbute
  • Susanne K Kjaer
  • Ulrik Schiøler Kesmodel
  • Kirsten Frederiksen
  • Louise T Thomsen
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Some studies found an association between obesity and increased cervical cancer risk, but potential mechanisms are unknown. In this nationwide register-based cohort study, we investigated the association between overweight/obesity and cervical cancer screening participation and risk of unsatisfactory smears. The study population was identified in the Danish Medical Birth Registry. We included 342,526 women aged 23-49 years with pre-pregnancy body mass index (BMI) registered during 2004-2013. Screening participation and unsatisfactory smears during up to four years after child birth were identified in a nationwide pathology register. We used absolute risk regression to estimate the relative absolute risk (RAR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) of screening participation according to BMI, adjusted for age, calendar year, sociodemographic characteristics, parity and previous high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. Among those who were screened (n = 295,482), we used log-binomial regression to investigate the relative risk (RR) of an unsatisfactory smear according to BMI, adjusted for age, year, parity, oral contraceptive use and pathology department. A lower proportion of obese women (79.3%) than women of normal weight (85.8%) were screened, and obese women had lower adjusted probability of being screened than women of normal weight (RARadjusted = 0.94, 95% CI, 0.93-0.95). A higher proportion of obese women (2.4%) than women of normal weight (1.7%) had an unsatisfactory smear, and this association remained after adjustments (RRadjusted = 1.28, 95% CI, 1.19-1.38). In conclusion, women with obesity were less likely to participate in cervical cancer screening and more likely to have an unsatisfactory smear than women of normal weight.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107072
JournalPreventive Medicine
Volume159
Number of pages8
ISSN0091-7435
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2022 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Research areas

  • BMI, Cervical cancer, Cervical cytology, Insufficient sample, Obesity, Participation, Screening, Uterine cervix

ID: 77704867