Even within the Veterans Affairs system where cost, insurance status, care status and transportation are lower obstacles, Black veterans are less likely than White veterans to follow through on recommended lung cancer screening.
In a study of 4,562 veterans fron 2013 to 2021, only 30.5 percent of Black veterans complete screening versus 41.3 percent of White veterans.
The critical point for not completing screening within the centralized Veterans Administration system occurs when individual veterans must connect with the screening program to be scheduled for a low-dose CT scan. Nearly 60 percent of veterans never do this even after they receive a telephone call or informational mailer. Among those who do make contact, few decline the screening and most veterans who agree to screening ultimately complete their CT scan.
The only variable for which the association with screening completion differed significantly by race was age. Vets younger than 60 were more likely to be screened. Among Black veterans, those who were younger, married, no longer smoking, and combat veterans were more likely to follow through on screening.
- See “The Process From Referral to LCS Is a Crucial Point Among Veterans” by Justina Petrullo on the American Journal of Managed Care website (August 7, 2023)
- See the full text of the scientific paper “Racial Disparities in Lung Cancer Screening Among Veterans, 2013 to 2021” by Neelima Navuluri et al.