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American Public Health Association
133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition
December 10-14, 2005
Philadelphia, PA
APHA 2005
3292.0: Monday, December 12, 2005 - 3:30 PM

Abstract #110182

Impact of Healthy Behaviors on Breast and Cervical Cancer Screening among African American Lesbians and Bisexual Women

Amari Sokoya Pearson-Fields, MPH, Mautner Project, the National Lesbian Health Organization, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 230, Washington, DC 20036, 202-332-5536, apearsonfields@mautnerproject.org, Ami Gaston, MA, Mautner Project for Lesbians with Cancer, 1707 L Street, NW, Suite 230, Washington, DC 20036, and Linda Fischer, PhD, WLN Research & Evaluation, PO Box 65426, Washington, DC 20035.

Purpose This study assessed the impact of participation in healthy lifestyles behaviors on utilization of breast and cervical cancer screening among African American lesbian and bisexual women.

Methods Data for this analysis is derived from The Black Women 2 Women Spirit Health Survey, a national cross-sectional survey of African American lesbian and bisexual women. This analysis includes data from 594 women. Eighty-five percent self-identified as lesbian, 15% as bisexual.

Findings 51.2 % of women were almost or highly adherent to breast and cervical cancer screening guidelines, 29.0% were partially adherent and 19.9 % were not adherent. When each screening method was viewed separately, 31.4% had practiced BSE, 60.1% had had a CBE, 59.3% had a Pap test, and 53.8% of women age 40 and over had obtained a mammogram during the previous year (78.1% within 2 years). Composite measures of weight control, regular physician visits, nutrition, and exercise were examined. Women who scored highest on the four-part proactive health behavior measure (PHBM) were more likely to be almost or highly adherent to breast cancer screening guidelines (70.4%) compared to women who practiced few or no healthy behaviors (25.5%, p <.001).Women who scored low (0-1 behaviors) were 18 times more likely to be non-adherent to than those who practiced all components (p <.001).

Discussion This suggests the importance of a holistic approach to cancer education that includes information on weight control, nutrition, exercise, and the importance of regular physician contact.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: African American, Lesbian

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

I wish to disclose that I have NO financial interests or other relationship with the manufactures of commercial products, suppliers of commercial services or commercial supporters.

Lesbian and Bisexual Women's Health

The 133rd Annual Meeting & Exposition (December 10-14, 2005) of APHA