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Regardless of Tips, Many Older Ladies Are Nonetheless Screened for Cervical Most cancers

Regardless of suggestions towards cervical most cancers screening for average-risk ladies ages 65 and older, greater than 1.3 million ladies within the Medicare fee-for-service inhabitants underwent screening in 2019, with important prices, a cross-sectional evaluation confirmed.

Though the general proportion of those ladies who obtained at the very least one cytology or human papillomavirus (HPV) take a look at decreased from 1999 (18.9%), 8.5% nonetheless obtained one or each of those checks in 2019, for a complete expenditure of about $83.5 million, together with $7.4 million for girls older than 80, reported Jin Qin, ScD, of the CDC, and colleagues in JAMA Inside Medication.

Nonetheless, whether or not these traits signify overtesting is unclear, they famous. Whereas continued testing in ladies over 80 “might signify overuse,” greater than 41% of the cytology/HPV checks performed in 2019 have been carried out in ladies ages 65 to 69, “suggesting that many of those checks might have been carried out to fulfill the factors for screening cessation after age 65 years.

“Extra in-depth investigation of service use after age 65 years may higher elucidate whether or not they’re indicated by ladies’s screening and medical historical past or whether or not they signify overscreening,” they added.

Since 1996, the US Preventive Companies Process Drive (USPSTF) has really helpful towards cervical most cancers screening for average-risk ladies ages 65 and older who’ve had ample prior screening.

In a commentary accompanying the research, Sarah Feldman, MD, MPH, and Stephanie Alimena, MD, each of Brigham and Ladies’s Hospital and Harvard Medical Faculty in Boston, stated that this evaluation raised the query of whether or not the charges and prices of screening and prevention among the many research cohort was “too excessive or not excessive sufficient.”

“Among the many sufferers studied by Qin et al, it’s attainable that the recognized prices are going to additional testing amongst those that don’t want it, whereas there could also be restricted or no testing amongst those that do require testing due to larger baseline danger, they wrote. “Essentially the most cost-effective technique would concentrate on serving to all ladies obtain ample screening earlier than age 65 years, documenting these leads to an accessible means in a nationwide digital well being report, after which appropriately persevering with surveillance for these ladies at larger danger.”

In each 1999 and 2019, greater than 15 million ladies had Medicare fee-for-service protection. The variety of ladies who obtained at the very least one cytology or HPV take a look at in a calendar yr ranged from about 3 million in 2002 — 6 years after the USPSTF issued its suggestion — to 1.3 million in 2019. Annual use charges decreased from 18,925 per 100,000 ladies in 1999 to eight,464 per 100,000 ladies in 2019 — a discount of 55.3%.

Qin and workforce additionally analyzed annual use charges of colposcopy and cervical procedures, reminiscent of loop electrosurgical excision, cervical conization, or ablation, and located that these charges fell by 43.2% and 64.4%, respectively, over the research interval.

Pattern analyzes confirmed a 4.6% common annual discount in use of cytology or HPV testing from 1999 to 2019 (P<0.001), whereas the general age-adjusted annual use price of colposcopy and cervical procedures decreased by 3.0% and 5.3%, respectively, annually on common from 1999 to 2019 (P<0.001 for each).

Qin and colleagues noticed two distinct traits in cytology/HPV testing, with a 3.1% annual lower within the interval from 1999 to 2009, and a 6.1% annual lower within the decade spanning 2009-2019. And whereas annual use charges of colposcopy and cervical procedures declined by 2015, they discovered that there was a 2.8% improve amongst ladies ages 65 to 69 after 2015.

When analyzed by race and ethnicity, the age-adjusted annual use price of cytology/HPV testing was highest in white ladies and lowest in non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native ladies. The age-adjusted annual use price of colposcopy was persistently larger in Black ladies versus white ladies, and Hispanic and Black ladies had a better age-adjusted annual use price of cervical procedures in contrast with white ladies, although these variations decreased over the research interval.

This population-based research included 15,323,635 ladies ages 65 and older with Medicare fee-for-service protection in 1999 and 15,298,656 in 2019. In 2019, the imply age of the research inhabitants was 76.2; 5.1% have been Hispanic, 0.5% have been non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaska Native, 3.0% have been non-Hispanic Asian/Pacific Islander, 7.4% have been Black, and 82.0% have been white.

Qin and workforce acknowledged that they have been unable to account for unknown medical historical past earlier than age 65, together with for girls with beforehand recognized and handled pre-cancer, and for prior hysterectomies.

  • Mike Bassett is a employees author specializing in oncology and hematology. He’s primarily based in Massachusetts.


Qin reported no disclosures. One co-author reported an interprofessional settlement with the CDC throughout the conduct of the research.

Feldman reported grants from the Nationwide Most cancers Institute and private charges from UptoDate outdoors the submitted work. Alimena reported private charges from Roche Diagnostics outdoors the submitted work.

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