(HealthDay News) — American adults with disabilities have lower colorectal cancer screening rates than other adults, according to a study published recently in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.

In an effort to estimate the proportion of adherence to and adjusted odds of colorectal cancer screening over time among adults with one of the three disabilities, Chelsea Deroche, Ph.D., from the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, and colleagues reviewed South Carolina Medicaid and Medicare claims, state health plan claims, and hospital discharge data from 2000 to 2009.

The researchers found that 48 percent of the general population reported having routine colorectal cancer screenings. This compared to 34 percent of those with intellectual disabilities, 44 percent of those with spinal cord injuries, and 46 percent of people with blindness or limited sight.

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“These individuals may not be routinely screened for colorectal cancer due to a lack of education and awareness, transportation challenges, or other barriers,” Deroche said in a university news release. “These findings support the need for increased awareness and targeted advocacy outreach efforts to both physicians and caregivers to ensure all individuals are screened appropriately.”

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