Women With Diabetes Are Less Likely to Get Cancer Screenings

February 12, 2020 by Elisa Becze BA, ELS, Editor

Modest differences may exist among women with diabetes compared to healthy controls when it comes to adhering to screening recommendations for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancers, according to results of a study published in Diabetologia (https://doi.org/10.1007/s00125-019-04995-7).

Researchers conducted a meta-analysis of 37 studies from 1997–2018 that included diabetes status as a predictor of cancer and measured cancer screening rates for breast (27 studies involving mammography), cervical (19 studies involving Pap tests), and colorectal (18 studies using fecal tests and endoscopy). Cohort sizes ranged from 129–732,687.

They found that patients with diabetes were less likely to adhere to breast cancer screening (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.83; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.77–0.9), cervical cancer screening (OR = 0.76; 95% CI = 0.71–0.81), and colorectal cancer screening (OR = 0.86; 95% CI = 0.77–0.97).

The researchers said that because women with diabetes have an increased risk for cancer, their findings support the need to develop interventions to improve screening adherence rates.

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