72 Million American Women Have Skipped or Delayed Vital Screenings

July 09, 2024

New Survey Reveals Women Struggle to Prioritize Their Health

Millions of women in the United States have missed screenings for serious, often life-threatening conditions, according to a new survey released today by women’s health innovator Hologic, Inc. (Nasdaq: HOLX).

Hologic Global Women's Health Index - United States Data Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

Hologic Global Women's Health Index - United States Data Report (Graphic: Business Wire)

The nationally representative study, commissioned by Hologic and conducted by Gallup, reveals a vast “Screening Action Gap.” Although women overwhelmingly say regular health screenings are important, an estimated 72 million have skipped or delayed a recommended screening. These missed screenings include those for significant health conditions like breast, cervical and colorectal cancers, which together kill more than 70,000 U.S. women each year.

The survey asked 4,001 women about their experiences and perspectives on health. It builds on the annual Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which captures the views of women and girls from more than 140 countries.

“We choose to put energy and resources behind the Global Women’s Health Index because you can only improve what’s measured,” said Stephen P. MacMillan, Chairman, President and CEO of Hologic. “This survey, our first-ever focused on the U.S., reveals so much about the challenges women face when prioritizing their health. It’s sobering to think that 72 million American women miss life-changing screenings because of cost, anxiety and prior negative experiences. Our hope is that this survey will be the impetus for more screening awareness, education and policy.”

Key findings of the U.S. survey include:

  • The Screening Action Gap: While 90% of women recognize the importance of regular health screenings, more than 40% have skipped or delayed a recommended test.
    • Women are most likely to have skipped screenings for breast (41%), cervical (35%) and colorectal (33%) cancers.
    • Women’s main reasons for skipping or delaying a recommended screening include not knowing the screening was necessary or important for them (24%), anxiety about tests (20%), lack of time (20%) or concerns about pain or discomfort (17%).
    • Compared to women of other races, Black women were much more likely to say screenings are very important to them — and much less likely to say they have skipped or delayed a screening.
  • Drivers of the Screening Action Gap:
    • Lack of information: Only about 4 in 10 women say they are “very confident” in knowing which screenings they need based on their age and risk factors. More broadly, many women — including 3 in 10 adult Gen Z women and just under 1 in 4 Millennials — say it’s hard for them to find the health information they need.
    • Lack of communication with healthcare professionals: Women who discuss screenings with healthcare professionals are more likely to get screened. However, these crucial conversations about screenings often do not occur. For example, among women ages 35 and over — the recommended age group for skin cancer screening — only about half said they have spoken to a healthcare professional about getting screened for skin cancer, and even fewer have been screened.
    • Emotional health: More than 6 in 10 women, including 75% of women with children in their home, say it is hard to make their health a top priority. Among these women, the top two barriers are feeling overwhelmed (72%) and emotional health (60%).

To see the full survey and related resources, visit WomensHealthIndex.com/Hologic-US-Health-Survey.

About Hologic, Inc.

Hologic, Inc. is a global medical technology innovator focused on improving the health and well-being of women, their families and communities through early detection and treatment. Its advancements include invention of the world’s first commercial 3D mammography system to find breast cancer earlier; leadership in testing for cervical cancer, sexually transmitted infections and respiratory illnesses; and minimally invasive surgical technologies for uterine fibroids and abnormal uterine bleeding. The company also champions women through the Hologic Global Women’s Health Index, which provides a science-backed data framework for improving women’s well-being.

For more information about the company, visit www.Hologic.com.

Hologic and The Science of Sure are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of Hologic, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries in the United States and/or other countries.

About Gallup

Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.

SOURCE: Hologic, Inc.

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Source: Hologic, Inc.