Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Unhealthy substance use a risk factor for not receiving some preventive health services, study finds

Date:
May 13, 2011
Source:
Boston University Medical Center
Summary:
Researchers have identified unhealthy substance use as a risk factor for not receiving all appropriate preventive health services.

Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified unhealthy substance use as a risk factor for not receiving all appropriate preventive health services. The findings, which currently appear in BMJ Open, identify unhealthy substance use as a barrier to completion of mammography screening and influenza vaccination.

Cancer and influenza are among the leading causes of mortality in the United States. Influenza is preventable, in part, through vaccination, and mortality from cervical, breast and colorectal cancer can be reduced through routine screening. Nevertheless, many eligible U.S. adults do not receive these recommended preventive services, in particular, low-income persons, racial and ethnic minorities, the uninsured and the foreign-born.

Despite this knowledge, and the implementation of interventions targeting these groups, preventive services are still underused, which has led some to believe that high-risk "pockets" of the population may account for gaps in service receipt.

"Persons with unhealthy substance use (for alcohol, the spectrum that ranges from risky use to dependence; for drugs, the spectrum from any illicit drug use, including prescription drugs to dependence), represent one such "pocket," said lead author Karen Lasser, MD, MPH, a primary care physician at BMC as well as an associate professor of medicine at BUSM.

The researchers analyzed data from 4,804 women eligible for mammograms, 4,414 eligible for Papanicolou (Pap) smears, 7,008 persons eligible for colorectal cancer (CRC) screenings, and 7,017 persons eligible for influenza vaccination. All patients were screened for unhealthy substance use.

Among the nearly 10,000 patients eligible for one or more of the preventive services of interest, 10 percent screened positive for unhealthy substance use. Compared to women without unhealthy substance use, women with unhealthy substance use received mammograms less frequently (75.4 percent vs. 83.8 percent), but Pap smears no less frequently (77.9 percent vs. 78.1 percent). Persons with unhealthy substance use received CRC screenings no less frequently (61.7 percent vs. 63.4 percent), yet received influenza vaccination less frequently (44.7 percent vs. 50.4 percent). "We speculate that persons with unhealthy substance use who are not engaged in primary care at the high thresholds used in these analyses may have substantially lower receipt of preventive services," said Lasser.

According to the researchers future interventions to promote mammography screening might target women with unhealthy substance use, and those to promote influenza vaccination might target both men and women with unhealthy substance use. "Clinical interventions could embed mammography screening and influenza vaccination in other services delivered to individuals with substance use problems. In addition, training interventions could enhance skills and systems for health care personnel who screen for substance use disorders to include referrals for preventive health services," she added.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston University Medical Center. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. K. E. Lasser, T. W. Kim, D. P. Alford, H. Cabral, R. Saitz, J. H. Samet. Is unhealthy substance use associated with failure to receive cancer screening and flu vaccination? A retrospective cross-sectional study. BMJ Open, 2011; DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2010-000046

Cite This Page:

Boston University Medical Center. "Unhealthy substance use a risk factor for not receiving some preventive health services, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 May 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513204427.htm>.
Boston University Medical Center. (2011, May 13). Unhealthy substance use a risk factor for not receiving some preventive health services, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513204427.htm
Boston University Medical Center. "Unhealthy substance use a risk factor for not receiving some preventive health services, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110513204427.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins