Hispanic ethnicity and cervical cancer precursors among low-income women in arizona

Sally L. Riggs, Cynthia A. Thomson, Elizabeth Jacobs, Christina A Cutshaw, John E. Ehiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: In the United States, Hispanics are more likely to be diagnosed with cervical cancer compared to Non-Hispanic Whites. Annually, 250,000 to 1 million women are diagnosed with a precursor to CC. The aim of this study was to assess whether Hispanics have a higher prevalence of cervical dysplasia compared to Non-Hispanics Whites among a population of low-income women. Patients and Methods: We analyzed the results of 10,911 cervical cytology tests administered between 2003 and 2016 that were funded through the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) program for low-income, uninsured women entitled the National Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program (NBCCEDP). In the state of Arizona, the program is called the Well Women HealthCheck Program (WWHP). Logistic regression was used to identify increased risk of dysplasia, including low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) and high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL/ICC), and multinomial logistic regression was used to assess increased likelihood for LSIL and HSIL/ICC as separate categories. Results: In the crude analysis, Hispanic ethnicity was modestly associated with higher prevalence of LSIL (odds ratio (OR)=1.39, 95% CI=1.01–1.91), but this association was not statistically significant after adjusting for confounders. However, in the final models, lower income was independently associated with LSIL (adjusted odds ratio [aOR]=1.55, 95% CI=1.30–1.44), while smoking (aOR=2.88, 95% CI=1.21–6.84) and no history of Pap test within five years (aOR=3.54, 95% CI=1.61–6.99) were independently associated with HSIL. Conclusion: After adjusting for confounding in a sample of low-income women with comparable Pap screening rates, ethnicity was not associated with greater prevalence of abnormal pap smears. However, other variables were independently associated with LSIL and HSIL. The higher proportion of LSIL cases among lower income individuals compared to those with higher incomes, and the higher proportion of HSIL cases observed among those screened least regularly stresses the importance of programs like WWHP: programs that target low-income, uninsured women. These programs help save lives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-937
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Women's Health
StatePublished - 2021


  • COVID-19
  • High-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions
  • Low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions
  • National breast and cervical cancer early detection program
  • Well women health check program

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology
  • Maternity and Midwifery


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