Race and sex differences in patient provider communication and awareness of lung cancer screening in the health information National Trends Survey, 2013-2017.


Mongan Institute, Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital Boston, MA, USA; Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Despite demonstrated reduction in lung cancer mortality, lung cancer screening uptake has been low. We investigated differences in discussions with physicians about lung cancer screening and awareness using repeated cross-sectional data from three cycles [4.2 (2013); 4.4(2014) and 5.1 (2017)] of the Health Information National Trends Survey. We included 4207 respondents age 55 to 80 who responded to this question: 'In the past year, have you talked with your doctor about having a test to check for lung cancer?'. We used logistic regression accounting for complex sample weighting to generate multivariable adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). The proportion of participants reporting lung cancer screening discussions was low and did not increase over time. In the most recent cycle, 15.7% of current smokers and 9.9% of former smokers said they had discussed screening. Compared to males, females were 32% less likely to report a lung cancer screening discussion (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.50-0.93) and the association was strongest among non-Hispanic White females. Estimates were similar among never (OR: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.43-1.20), current (OR: 0.73, 95% CI: 0.39-1.36), and former (OR: 0.66, 95% CI: 0.40-1.10) smokers. Females were 32% less likely than males to be aware of a lung cancer screening test (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.47-0.99) and this association was strongest for non-Hispanic Black females (OR: 0.38, 95% CI: 0.19-0.77). Too few providers have discussed lung cancer screening with potentially eligible patients, particularly female patients. Further research is needed to evaluate possible causes for this finding.


Awareness,Communication,Lung neoplasms,Mass screening,Sex,