TABLE 2-21 Percentage of U.S. Women Who Reported Ever Having a Mammogram or Pap Smear, by Racial or Ethnic Group


Percent of U.S. Women Who Have Had the Following:

Racial or Ethnic Group


Pap Smear

White, non-Hispanica









American Indianb




SOURCE: a National Health Interview Survey for 1987; b National Medical Expenditure Survey for 1987.

National Medical Expenditure Survey

A special survey of American Indians and Alaska Natives was conducted in 1982 by using the National Medical Expenditure Survey. Some of its findings regarding the use of mammography and Pap smear screening techniques are summarized in Table 2-21. There are several major concerns with the validity of the results of this survey. These concerns were related to the cultural appropriateness of the survey instrument and the possibility of misinterpretation of responses by researchers who are not American Indians or Alaska Natives (Burhansstipanov, 1995). However, the results of this survey indicate that American Indian women, like other minorities, received screenings less often than the non-Hispanic white population (Coyne et al., 1992).

National Survey of Family Growth

The National Survey of Family Growth (Wilcox and Mosher, 1993) was based on a national sample of 8,450 reproductive age (15 to 44 years) U.S. women who participated in NHIS between October 1985 and March 1987. The NHIS data were used to compare women who had received screening in the previous year to those who had not received an annual screening. Results indicated that women with little education or low income, Native American women, Hispanic women, and women of Asian or Pacific Islander descent were less likely to receive regular screenings (see Table 2-22).

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