By staff writers

March 25, 2011 -- Screening for colorectal cancer improved among white, black, and Asian-Americans ages 50 and older between 2000 and 2008, according to new data from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The agency's 2010 "National Healthcare Disparities Report," which examined disparities in access to quality healthcare in the U.S., found that increases in screening rates among populations were far from uniform.

Among Hispanics, colorectal cancer screening rates rose to only around 44% in 2008 from 35% in 2000. Meanwhile, the rates among American Indians and Alaska natives actually dropped to approximately 37% for both groups, compared with approximately 49% in 2000.

Health insurance played a key role in screening rates. Among blacks and whites without health insurance, colorectal cancer screening rose only from 26% to about 30%. For Hispanics without health insurance, the rate sank from 16% in 2000 to 13% in 2008, the authors wrote in a statement accompanying the report.

Copyright © 2011

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