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Low Health Literacy and Cancer Screening Among Chinese Americans in California: A Cross-Sectional Analysis (BMJ Open)

Publication Topics

California Health Interview Survey; 2007 California Health Interview Survey (CHIS 2007); Immigrant; Racial and Ethnic Groups; Asian; Women; Cancer; Chronic Condition Prevalence

Publication Type

CHIS Journal Article

Publication Date


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​Cancer is the leading cause of death among Asian Americans. Chinese Americans comprise the largest Asian American ethnic group. Low health literacy (LHL) is associated with lower cancer screening rates, but this association has not been studied in Chinese Americans. The authors examined the relationship between LHL and meeting US Preventive Service Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines for cervical, colorectal and breast cancer screening among Chinese Americans responding in the 2007 California Health Interview Survey. Interview languages included English, Cantonese and Mandarin.

Cancer screening percentages among Chinese Americans were 77.8% for cervical, 50.9% for colorectal (47.9% for women and 54.2% for men), and 85.5% for breast. LHL was associated with lower odds of meeting breast cancer screening guidelines. Respondents with both LHL and limited English Proficiency (LEP) were significantly less likely to have up-to-date colorectal and breast cancer screening than those with neither health communication barrier. In all multivariable models, having seen a physician in the past year was a significant predictor of an up-to-date screening.

In Chinese Americans, LHL and LEP were negatively associated with up-to-date breast and colorectal cancer screening, independent of a recent physician visit. Efforts to promote cancer screening among Chinese Americans should consider and address LHL, LEP and physician access barriers.


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Journal Article: Low Health Literacy and Cancer Screening Among Chinese Americans in California: A Cross-Sectional Analysis

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Press Release

Related Link 1

California Health Interview Survey (CHIS)

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Version: 3.0
Created at 1/13/2015 3:16 PM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste
Last modified at 12/15/2015 8:12 AM by i:0#.f|uclachissqlmembershipprovider|celeste