Jose L. Cataneo, MD, on Limited English-Language Proficiency Being a Risk Factor

October 10, 2020

Research suggested that limited English-language proficiency is a risk factor for getting potentially lifesaving screening mammograms less often.

A study presented at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress 2020 suggested that limited English-language proficiency (LEP) is a risk factor for getting potentially lifesaving screening mammograms less often.

Of note, LEP was defined as speaking only or mostly a language besides English.

“Spanish-only speakers appear to have a 27% less likelihood of having a screening mammogram than English speakers,” lead study investigator Jose L. Cataneo, MD, a general surgery resident at the University of Illinois at Chicago/Metropolitan Group Hospitals, said in a press release.

Using the National Health Interview Survey from 2015, an annual survey of US civilian, noninstitutionalized residents, researchers evaluated women between the age of 40 and 75 years old, the age range usually recommended for screening mammography, who answered the survey with which language they primarily speak.

Of 9653 women included in the study, 1040 were found to have LEP; 712 of these women spoke only Spanish. Among 936 LEP group members who provided mammogram information, the overall rate of screening mammograms was 12% less than for proficient English speakers (78% vs 90%).

Given that US mammography guidelines vary by age, researchers examined participants in different age groups, including those aged 40 to 50, those aged 45 to 75, and those aged 50 to 75. Across all 3 groups, those with limited English proficiency had less frequency of getting a screening mammogram. Following propensity score matching, speaking only Spanish still predicted a significantly lower probability of getting a screening mammogram, with an odds ratio of 0.73.

In an interview with CancerNetwork®, Cataneo discussed the study findings and what the implications are for this patient population.

This segment comes from the CancerNetwork® portion of the MJH Life Sciences Medical World News, airing daily on all MJH Life Sciences channels.

Reference:

Female Spanish-only speakers get screening mammograms less often than other women [news release]. Chicago. Published October 3, 2020. Accessed October 7, 2020.