THURSDAY, April 6, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Women with severe mental illness have lower rates of cancer screening and experience a higher risk for cervical neoplasia, according to a study published in the April issue of The Lancet Public Health.
Kejia Hu, M.D., from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, and colleagues assessed whether women with severe mental illness or psychiatric or neurodevelopmental disorders have an increased risk for invasive cervical cancer and precancerous lesions and a lower degree of participation in cervical screening versus matched women without mental illness. The analysis included data from 4.1 million Swedish women from 1973 to 2018.
The researchers found that women with a specialist diagnosis of mental illness had a higher risk for invasive cervical cancer (hazard ratio, 2.39) and high-grade precancerous cervical lesions (hazard ratio, 2.22) and a 5 percent lower participation in cervical screening versus controls. The risk for invasive cervical cancer and high-grade precancerous cervical lesions was greatest among women with substance misuse, while the greatest screening reduction was seen for women with intellectual disability and autism.
"Women with severe mental illness participate less in screening and experience a higher risk of cervical neoplasia," the authors write. "Refined approaches are needed to better target these women in the elimination agenda of cervical cancer."