Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública
On-line version ISSN 1680-5348
Print version ISSN 1020-4989
COSTA, Juvenal Soares Dias da; D'ELIA, Paula Berenhauser; MANZOLLI, Patrícia and MOREIRA, Mônica Regina. Pap smear test coverage in the city of Pelotas (Rio Grande do Sul), Brazil. Rev Panam Salud Publica [online]. 1998, vol.3, n.5, pp.308-313. ISSN 1680-5348. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1020-49891998000500004.
In 1995, cervical cancer was the fourth most important cause of death among women in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. There are no available studies on Pap smear examination coverage in Pelotas, which is the largest city in the southern part of Rio Grande do Sul. Accordingly, in 1992 a population-based, cross-sectional study was carried out among 20 to 69 year-old women residing in urban areas of the city. The objectives of the study were to ascertain any Pap smear testing in the 3 years prior to the study, to determine the coverage of cervical cancer screening, and to identify any factors associated with the performance of Pap tests in Pelotas. Social class was chosen as the determining variable. To categorize social class, two classifications were used: Bronfman's classification and the classification used by the Brazilian Association of Market Research Institutes. Among the 934 women interviewed, 606 (65%) had had a Pap smear test in the 3 years before the study. The multivariate analysis revealed significant differences regarding performance of such tests in terms of social class, age, and frequency of medical consultations per year. No significant differences were found in terms of education, type of health service used, or hospitalizations during the year prior to the study. This study reveals that coverage of cervical cancer screening for women between 20 and 69 years of age in Pelotas is higher than the coverage found in other parts of the country or even of the world. However, for women in lower social classes, coverage was found to be between 52 and 56%. These data can contribute to the development of measures aimed at increasing cervical cancer screening among specific sectors of the population.