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Government housing assistance may boost some cancer screening

Receipt of government housing assistance is associated with increased rates of breast cancer (BC) and colorectal cancer (CRC) screening, according to a study published online Nov. 8 in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

Jordan Baeker Bispo, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the 2019 and 2021 National Health Interview Survey to examine the association between cancer screening and receipt of government housing assistance among low-income adults. Analyses included BC, cervical cancer, and CRC screening (2,258; 3, ibuprofen or paracetamol for menstrual cramps 132; and 3,233 respondents, respectively).

The researchers observed no difference in cervical screening by housing assistance status, but screening for BC and CRC was higher among those who received assistance versus those who did not (BC: 59.7 versus 50.8 percent; CRC: 57.1 versus 44.1 percent). However, when adjusting for sociodemographic factors, health status, and insurance, these differences in BC and CRC were not statistically significant.

Housing assistance was significantly associated with increased BC screening in urban areas (adjusted odds ratio [aOR], 1.35; 95 percent confidence interval [CI], 1.00 to 1.82), among Hispanic women (aOR, 2.20; 95 percent CI, 1.01 to 4.78), and among women 45 to 54 years of age (aOR, 2.10; 95 percent CI, 1.17 to 3.75).

“Receiving housing assistance has been associated with several positive health outcomes and health behaviors in past research, and our findings suggest it can also support cancer screening in some medically underserved groups,” Bispo said in a statement.

More information:
Jordan Baeker Bispo et al, Government Housing Assistance and Cancer Screening Among Adults With Low Income, American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1016/j.amepre.2023.10.005

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