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Predictors of non-adherence to colorectal cancer screening among immigrants to Ontario, Canada: a population-based study

Shen SC, Lofters A, Tinmouth J, Paszat L, Rabeneck L, Glazier RH. Prev Med. 2018; 111:180-9. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


Though colorectal cancer (CRC) screening rates have increased over time in Ontario, Canada, immigrants continue to have lower rates of screening. This study examines the association between non-adherence to CRC screening and immigration, socio-demographic, healthcare utilization, and primary care physician characteristics among immigrants to Ontario. This is a population-based retrospective cross-sectional study that uses healthcare administrative databases housed at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences. Our cohort comprised immigrants aged 60 to 74 years who lived in Ontario on March 31, 2015 and who had been eligible for the Ontario Health Insurance Plan for at least 10 years. The outcome was lack of adherence to CRC screening with any modality (fecal occult blood test, flexible sigmoidoscopy, colonoscopy) on March 31, 2015. Our cohort contained 182,949 immigrants. Overall 70,134 (38%) individuals were not adherent to screening. Risk of non-adherence to CRC screening was higher among immigrants who were from low (adjusted relative risk [ARR] 1.35, 95%CI 1.28-1.42) or low-middle (ARR 1.27, 95%CI 1.24-1.30, population-attributable risk [PAR] 9.8%) income countries and refugees (ARR 1.09, 95%CI 1.06-1.11). Compared to those from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, immigrants from most other world regions, particularly Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ARR 1.28, 95%CI 1.21-1.37), had higher risks of non-adherence. Non-immigration factors such as low healthcare use and lack of primary care enrolment also increased the risk of non-adherence to screening. These findings can be used to inform future efforts to improve uptake of CRC screening among immigrant groups.

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