Past-Year Pap Testing Rates Were Lower in 2022 Than 2019

Unadjusted past-year testing rates were significantly lower among rural than urban residents in 2022
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FRIDAY, June 14, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Past-year Papanicolaou testing rates were lower in 2022 than in 2019, overall, and lower rates were seen in rural versus urban women, according to a study published in online June 14 in JAMA Network Open.

Tyrone F. Borders, Ph.D., and Amanda Thaxton Wiggins, Ph.D., from the University of Kentucky in Lexington, examined receipt of a Papanicolaou test in the past year among U.S. women overall and in those residing in rural and urban areas in 2019, 2020, and 2022. Data were obtained from the Health Information National Trends Survey; study participants were women aged 21 to 65 years.

Of the 188,243,531 women included in the analysis, 12.5 and 87.5 percent lived in rural and urban areas, respectively. The researchers found that unadjusted past-year Papanicolaou testing rates were significantly lower among rural versus urban residents in 2022 (48.6 versus 64.0 percent). Compared with 2019, in 2022 adjusted odds of past-year Papanicolaou testing were lower (odds ratio, 0.70).

"Health care organizations, especially those serving rural females, should consider, at least temporarily, expanding access to Papanicolaou tests to increase cervical cancer screening rates to prepandemic levels," the authors write.

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