Low attendance by non-native women to human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer screening – A Danish nationwide register-based cohort study

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Background: Cervical cancer is preventable through human papillomavirus vaccination and cervical cancer screening. However, possibly due to systemic, individual (e.g. low socio-economic staus) and socio-cultural barriers, it is likely that non-natives, especially non-westerns, are more prone to attend neither vaccination nor screening (combined non-attendance). This is disturbing as the non-native population in Denmark is predicted to rise to 21% by 2060. We aimed to investigate differences in combined non-attendance by nativity and region of origin, and to analyse the association between country of origin and combined non-attendance adjusted for socio-economic status. Setting: 1.6.2007–31.12.2016 Denmark. Methods: Logistic regression was performed to estimate crude and adjusted odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals for combined non-attendance. Results: 170,158 women were included. Overall combined non-attendance was 11.8% [11.7–12.0]; 10.0% [9.8–10.1] for native women and 27.1% [26.4–27.7] for non-native women, with highest degrees among Middle-Eastern and North-Africans (30.1% [29.2–30.9]). Even when adjusted for socio-economics, women from Middle-East and North-Africa had substantially higher odds of combined non-attendance than natives (adj. OR = 7.5 [6.3–8.9] for Somali women). Conclusion: Denmark has a relatively low degree of combined non-attendance. However, cervical cancer preventive programmes seem to be better tailored to the needs of native women and do not appear to cater sufficiently to the needs of the fast-growing non-native populations, particularly not to the needs of Middle-Eastern and North African women. In order to secure more just cervical cancer prevention, future studies are recommended to develop tailored intervention sensitive to the need of non-native women.

Original languageEnglish
Article number101106
JournalPreventive Medicine Reports
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Denmark, Human papilloma virus, Nationality, Non-attendance, Non-participation, Screening, Socio-economic status, Vaccination

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