Background: Despite increasingly widespread use of the Papanicolaou smear, almost half of all women with invasive cervical cancer are diagnosed at a late stage (regional or distant). Little is known about factors associated with late-stage diagnosis of cervical cancer. Objective: To examine the relationship of age, race, education level, income level, smoking, marital status, health insurance type, comorbidity, and residence in an urban or rural setting to late stage at diagnosis of cervical cancer. Methods: Incident cases of invasive cervical cancer occurring in 1994 in Florida were identified from the state tumor registry (N = 852). Cases were linked with state discharge abstracts and the 1990 US census. Multiple logistic regression was used to determine the relationship between predictor variables (age, race or ethnicity, marital status, smoking status, education level, income level, insurance type, comorbidity, and urban vs rural residence) and the odds of late-stage diagnosis. Results: Age, marital status, and insurance type were associated with late-stage diagnosis. Each additional year of age was associated with a 3% increased odds of late-stage diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.05; P<.001). Being unmarried was associated with a 63% increased odds of late-stage diagnosis (OR, 1.63; 95% CI, 1.18-2.25; P = .003). Being uninsured was associated with a 60% increased odds of late-stage diagnosis (OR, 1.60; 95% CI, 1.07-2.38; P = .02). Having commercial health maintenance organization insurance was associated with a 46% decreased odds of late-stage disease (OR, 0.54; 95% CI, 0.30-0.96; P = .04). Race, education level, income level, smoking status, comorbidity, and urban residence were not associated with stage at diagnosis. Conclusions: Women with cervical cancer who are elderly, unmarried, and uninsured are more likely to be diagnosed at a late stage. These women should be targeted for cervical cancer education and screening programs.
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