For Immediate Release
For more information, please contact APHA Communications at (202) 777-2509 or email us .

U.S. citizenship indicates whether foreign-born non-citizens receive mammograms, cancer tests

Boston, Nov. 5, 2013 — Citizenship, particularly for non-U.S. natives, largely determines a woman’s odds  of having a mammogram and being screened for cervical and colorectal cancer, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 141st Annual Meeting in Boston.

According to the research, foreign-born female non-citizens living in the U.S. for less than five years have 69 percent lower odds of being screened for colorectal cancer within the previous five years and foreign-born non-citizens who have lived in the U.S. for at least five years have 24 percent lower odds, compared to U.S born citizens. Additionally, foreign-born non-citizens have significantly lower odds of receiving breast and cervical cancer screening.

This finding coincides with implementation of the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that foreign-born residents who are lawfully present in the U.S. will be eligible for health care coverage beginning Jan. 1, 2014. The current pathway to citizenship in the U.S. is naturalization after five years of legal permanent residency.

“Our findings offer pioneering evidence for the potential protective effects health care and immigration policy reform could have for immigrants — particularly for non-citizens, one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States,” said Patricia Y. Miranda, PhD, MPH, Annual Meeting presenter. “Based on these findings we suggest that limits of duration mandates be reduced. This may be an important consideration in immigration policy that ensures preventive health care and reduction of cancer disparities for immigrant women.”

Researchers in this study consolidated data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey and the National Health Interview Survey,  then analyzed all results from 2000-2010.

APHA’s 141st Annual Meeting is themed “Think Global Act Local” and will focus on the creative and successful public health efforts from across the globe and discuss how public health workers can adapt these efforts to the communities they serve at home.

Session 4326.0: Identifying and reaching Latinos with greatest health risks
Featured presentation: Pathways to cancer screening: The role of citizenship

Date: Tuesday, November 5, 2013: 2:30 p.m. EST

Researchers:
Patricia Y. Miranda, PhD, MPH
Nengliang Yao, PhD
Rhonda Belue, PhD
Marianne M. Hillemeier, PhD, MPH
Shedra Amy Snipes, PhD
Eugene J. Lengerich, VMD, MS
Carol S. Weisman, PhD

Information for Media:
The APHA Annual Meeting Press Office will be located in Room 102A of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center. The full Annual Meeting program and abstracts are available online at http://www.apha.org/meetings/sessions/. Final programs with session locations, along with daily highlights and other press materials, will be available on site at the APHA Press Office. Please visit our website for additional Annual Meeting press information.

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Founded in 1872, the APHA is the oldest and most diverse organization of public health professionals in the world. The association aims to protect all Americans and their communities from preventable, serious health threats and strives to assure community-based health promotion and disease prevention activities and preventive health services are universally accessible in the United States. APHA represents a broad array of health providers, educators, environmentalists, policy-makers and health officials at all levels working both within and outside governmental organizations and educational institutions. More information is available at www.apha.org.