Objective To investigate the influence of children in the household on the likelihood of reporting cancer screening among adult men and women living in the United States. Methods 2004-2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS) were used to calculate the probability of self-reported cancer screening by number of children for adult men and women with adjustment for age, sex, marital status, race, education, current smoking status, obesity status, health insurance and having a usual health-care provider. Results The largest percentage of persons who had cancer screening was among respondents with no children in the household. In multivariate results, the probability of endoscopy was lower for persons with one child (24%) and two or more children (21%) in comparison with persons with no children living in the household (30%). Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) testing was lower among men with one child (17%) and two or more children (14%) in comparison with no children (22%). Pap smears were lower for women with two or more children (50%) but not different for women with one child (55%) in comparison with no children (56%). Mammograms were lower for women with one child (48%) and two or more children (42%) in comparison with no children in the household (55%). Conclusion Across several different cancer screening modalities, the probability of screening is lower as the number of children in the household increases. Children may be an additional barrier to screening beyond factors such as socioeconomic status and access to care.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health