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Age- and Sex-Specific Cancer Prevention and Screening Practices Among Asian Indian Immigrants in the United States
  1. Ranjita Misra, PhD, CHES, FMALRC*,
  2. Usha Menon, PhD, RN, FAAN,
  3. Susan T. Vadaparampil, PhD,
  4. Rhonda BeLue, PhD§
  1. From the *Department of Health and Kinesiology, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; †College of Nursing and Health Innovation & Mayo Clinic Cancer Center, Phoenix, AZ; ‡Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, FL; and §Department of Health Policy and Administration, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA.
  1. Received August 27, 2010, and in revised form February 13, 2011.
  2. Accepted for publication February 14, 2011.
  3. Reprints: Ranjita Misra, PhD, CHES, FMALRC, Center for the Study of Health Disparities, Department of Health and Kinesiology, 158V Read Bldg, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843. E-mail: misra{at}
  4. Supported by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin.
  5. The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Objective The objective was to examine age- and sex-specific cancer prevention and screening practices among 1820 Asian Indian (AI) adults in the United States using items from the 2000 National Health Interview Survey Cancer Control Topical Module.

Methods A cross-sectional study of 1820 randomly selected AIs living in 7 US cities. Data were collected via telephone interviews by trained multilingual AI staff; the response rate was 62%. The primary outcome variables were age- and sex-specific cancer screening behaviors.

Results Most of the AIs are men, married, educated, and with some form of health insurance. One fifth reported a family history of cancer. Adherence to mammography, Papanicolaou test, and clinical breast examination was higher in contrast to low rates of breast self-examination in women. Similarly, men reported low clinical testicular examination and fecal occult blood test, although prostate-specific antigen screening was higher than the reported rates among Asian Americans. Men were more likely to get a colonoscopy than women. The length of time in the United States had a relatively weak effect, and a family history of cancer had a moderate effect on screening behavior. Education and access to health care increased the odds (2-6 times) of cancer screening in AI men and women.

Conclusions Cancer screening varies by educational level, years lived in the United States, and access to health care, among AIs living in the United States. Differences in sociodemographic factors should be considered to predict adherence to cancer screening guidelines and also be factored into patient education in this ethnic subgroup.

Key Words
  • cancer prevention
  • screening
  • Asian Indian
  • practices

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