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Time to Colposcopy Varies Based on Age, Pap Findings

With ASC-H findings, younger women have colposcopy sooner than older women

WEDNESDAY, March 10 (HealthDay News) -- Women whose Pap tests reveal low-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (LSIL) or high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (HSIL) go on to have their recommended colposcopy within a few months, but women with atypical squamous cells, cannot exclude high-grade squamous intraepithelial lesions (ASC-H) tend to have the procedure later, according to research published in the March issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Tzy-Mey Kuo, Ph.D., of the Research Triangle Institute International in North Carolina, and colleagues analyzed data from health insurance claims from 4,824 women in a large U.S. health care organization. The women were aged 18 to 64 years and had an abnormal index Pap test of LSIL, ASC-H, or HSIL during 2004.

The researchers found that, in women with ASC-H, younger women were less likely to delay colposcopy than older women. Women whose Pap test found LSIL and HSIL had a similar time to colposcopy regardless of age, but had the procedure sooner than women with ASC-H. Women who received their index Pap test from a gynecologist had a shorter length of time to colposcopy than women who got the test from a family practice or other type of physician.

"From our findings, the timing for follow-up with colposcopy is not consistent for all Pap test results. Interventions that emphasize the importance of timely follow-up of abnormal Pap tests that can lead to cervical cancer are warranted," the authors write.

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