Cervical Cancer Screening Rates among Rural and Urban Females, from 2019 to 2022

Tyrone F. Borders, Amanda Thaxton Wiggins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Importance: Little nationally representative research has examined Papanicolaou testing rates from before the pandemic in 2019 through the COVID-19 pandemic in 2022. Papanicolaou testing rates among rural females are a concern as they have historically had lower screening rates than their urban counterparts. Objective: To examine the receipt of a Papanicolaou test in the past year among US females overall and females residing in rural and urban areas in 2019, 2020, and 2022. Design, Setting, and Participants: This repeated cross-sectional study used data from 3 years of the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS), a nationally representative survey that asks respondents about cancer screenings, sources of health information, and health and health care technologies. Study participants were females aged 21 to 65 years. Individuals who received a Papanicolaou test more than 1 to 3 years prior to a HINTS interview were excluded as they were likely not due for a Papanicolaou test. Exposures: Survey year (2019, 2020, and 2022) and rural or urban residence were the main exposure variables. Main Outcomes and Measures: Self-reported receipt of a Papanicolaou test within the past year. Results: Among the 188243531 (weighted; 3706 unweighted) females included in the analysis, 12.5% lived in rural areas and 87.5% in urban areas. Participants had a mean (SE) age of 43.7 (0.27) years and were of Hispanic (18.8%), non-Hispanic Asian (5.2%), non-Hispanic Black (12.2%), non-Hispanic White (59.6%), or non-Hispanic other (4.1%) race and ethnicity. In 2022, unadjusted past-year Papanicolaou testing rates were significantly lower among rural vs urban residents (48.6% [95% CI, 39.2%-58.1%] vs 64.0% [95% CI, 60.0%-68.0%]; P <.001). Adjusted odds of past-year Papanicolaou testing were lower in 2022 than 2019 (odds ratio, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.52-0.95; P =.02). Conclusions and Relevance: This repeated cross-sectional study found that past-year Papanicolaou testing rates were lower in 2022 than 2019, pointing to a need to increase access to screenings to prevent an uptick in cervical cancer incidence. Rural-vs-urban differences in 2022 indicate a need to specifically target rural females..

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e2417094
JournalJAMA network open
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 14 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 American Medical Association. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Cervical Cancer Screening Rates among Rural and Urban Females, from 2019 to 2022'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this