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Screening programmes have been proposed as a privileged setting for health promotion interventions. We aim to assess the associations between behavioural risk factors, chronic conditions and diseases and cervical, breast and colorectal cancer screening uptake. Secondly, we aim to assess whether these associations are due to underlying differences in socioeconomic characteristics. In Italy, a random sample was interviewed by the PASSI surveillance (106,000 interviews) in 2014-2016. Screening uptake adjusted for age and gender alone and for age, gender and socioeconomic characteristics (educational attainment and self-reported economic difficulties) were estimated using multivariate Poisson regression models. Screening uptake was 79%, 73% and 45% for cervical (age 25-64), breast (women aged 50-69) and colorectal cancer (both sexes age 50-69), respectively. People with low consumption of vegetables and fruits and those with insufficient physical activity had lower uptake than people with healthy behaviours (20-22% and 8-15% lower, respectively), as did those obese and diabetic compared to healthier people (7-10% and 5-8% lower, respectively). Those with high-risk drinking behaviour, self-reported driving after drinking alcohol, and former smokers had higher screening uptake (3-7%, 3-6%, and 7-14% higher, respectively). Differences in uptake decreased after adjusting for socioeconomic characteristics, but trends were unvaried. In conclusion, screening uptake is negatively associated with unfavourable behaviours and health conditions that are also risk factors for breast and colorectal cancer incidence. Socioeconomic characteristics do not fully explain these differences. Health promotion interventions targeting diet and physical activity nested in screening programmes might miss part of the at-risk population.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Preventive medicine
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