MONDAY, May 16, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Sexual minority (SM) status is associated with reduced odds of ever undergoing Papanicolaou (Pap) testing, according to a study published online May 16 in Cancer.

Ashley E. Stenzel, Ph.D., from the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey (2015 and 2018) to examine disparities in cervical cancer screening related to sexual orientation alone and to race/ethnicity.

The researchers found that compared with 17,760 heterosexual persons, 877 SM persons had significantly lower odds of ever undergoing Pap testing (odds ratio, 0.54). When sexual orientation and race/ethnicity were considered, the odds of ever undergoing Pap testing were lower for non-Hispanic White SM and Hispanic SM participants compared with non-Hispanic White heterosexual participants. There were no significant differences between non-Hispanic White heterosexual participants and non-Hispanic Black SM or Hispanic heterosexual participants.

“Future work should examine disparities in Pap testing through an intersectional lens to not only identify groups at greater risk for not receiving such care but also examine systemic discrimination and identify where the system may be failing, potential interventions in clinical care at the institutional level, and opportunities for community outreach,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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