Purpose: Cervical cancer is the 6th most common cancer among Korean women, and the prevalence of cervical cancer was 21.9 (per 100,000) in 2008. This study was designed to identify factors associated with Korean women’s participation by age group in cervical cancer screening.
Methods: Based on the 2007-2009 Korea Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, we studied 6,964 women who were 30 years or older without a history of cervical cancer and completed a health questionnaire, physical examination, and nutrition examination. Information about their participation in cervical cancer screening examination was collected using a self-administeredquestionnaire. Multiple logistic regression was performed to identify factors associated with their participation in cervical cancer screening over the last 2 years.
Results: Approximately 51.9% of women had been screened for cervical cancer over the previous 2 years. Women aged 65 years or older were less likely to undergo the screening than women aged 30-64 years. In the multiple logistic regression analysis, private health insurance, smoking, and body mass index were significantly associated with participation of women aged 30-44 years old in cervical cancer screening examination. Education, health insurance type, private health insurance, and smoking were significantly associated with the participation rate for women aged 45-64 years old. Participation of women aged 65 years or older was associated with private health insurance, body mass index, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy, age at first birth, and number of pregnancies.
Conclusion: Indicators of socio-demographic factors, health behavioral factors and reproductive factors seem to have varying impacts on Korean women’s participation in cervical cancer screening according to age group. These results demonstrate the need for more aggressive and age-based interventions and policy programs to improve the cervical cancer screening rate.