Introduction Hispanic women in the United States have an elevated risk of cervical cancer, but the existing literature does not reveal why this disparity persists. Methods We performed a retrospective cohort analysis of 17,828 low-income women aged 21 to 64 years seeking care at Oregon community health centers served by a hosted, linked electronic health record during 2009 through 2013. We assessed the odds of having had Papanicolaou (Pap) tests and receiving human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine, by race/ethnicity, insurance status, and language. Results Hispanic women, regardless of pregnancy status or insurance, had greater odds of having had Pap tests than non-Hispanic white women during the study period. English-preferring Hispanic women had higher odds of having had Pap tests than Spanish-preferring Hispanic women (OR, 2.08; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.63-2.66) but lower odds of having received HPV vaccination (OR, 0.21; 95% CI, 0.12-0.38). Uninsured patients, regardless of race/ethnicity, had lower odds of HPV vaccine initiation than insured patients did. Once a single dose was received, there were no significant racial/ethnic differences in vaccine series completion. Conclusion In this sample of low-income women seeking care at Oregon community health centers, we found minimal racial/ethnic disparities in the receipt of cervical cancer prevention services. Inequities by insurance status, especially in the receipt of HPV vaccine, persist. Community health center-based care may be a useful model to address racial/ethnic disparities in prevention, but this model would need further population-wide study.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health