Temporal and area-level variation in prevalence of high-grade histologically confirmed cervical abnormalities among Indigenous and non-Indigenous women, Queensland, Australia, 2008–2017

Paramita Dasgupta, Joanne F. Aitken, John Condon, Gail Garvey, Lisa J. Whop, Claire DeBats, Peter D. Baade

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Objective: Despite Australia’s National Cervical Screening Program, Indigenous women have a disproportionately high burden of cervical cancer. We describe temporal and area-level patterns in prevalence of histologically conformed high-grade cervical abnormalities (hHGA) among cytologically screened women by Indigenous status. 

    Methods: This was a population-based study of 2,132,925 women, aged 20–69, who underwent cervical screening between 2008 and 2017, in Queensland, Australia. Of these, 47,136 were identified as Indigenous from linked hospital records. Overall patterns in hHGA prevalence by Indigenous status were quantified using prevalence rate ratios (PrRR) from negative binomial models. Bayesian spatial models were used to obtain smoothed prevalence estimates of hHGA across 528 small areas compared to the state average. Results are presented as maps and graphs showing the associated uncertainty of the estimates. 

    Results: Overall, screened Indigenous women had significantly higher hHGA prevalence than non-Indigenous women. However, the magnitude of the difference reduced over time (p < 0.001). Adjusted for age and area-level variables, Indigenous women had 36% higher hHGA prevalence (PrRR 1.36, 95% confidence interval [1.21–1.52]) than non-Indigenous women between 2013 and 2017. The overall effect of age decreased over time (p = 0.021). Although there was evidence of moderate spatial variation in 10-year prevalence estimates for both groups of women, the high levels of uncertainty for many estimates, particularly for Indigenous women, limited our ability to draw definitive conclusions about the spatial patterns. 

    Conclusions: While the temporal reduction in Indigenous: non-Indigenous differential in hHGA prevalence is encouraging, further research into the key drivers of the continuing higher risk among Indigenous women is warranted.

    Original languageEnglish
    JournalJournal of Medical Screening
    DOIs
    Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jan 2021

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