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This is the accepted manuscript version of the article from the Journal of Racial and Ethnic Disparities, 2022 Jan 14.

The final published version can be found on the journal's website:


BACKGROUND: While cancer screening disparities along socioeconomic and racial/ethnic lines are well studied, differences based on religious affiliation are under-researched. Though diverse in terms of race/ethnicity, Muslim Americans appear to share values and beliefs that similarly inform their health and healthcare seeking behaviors. Cancer screening disparities among Muslim Americans are also understudied.

METHODS: To examine differences in cancer screening behaviors based on Muslim affiliation, we analyzed data from a longitudinal cohort study examining lifestyle, healthcare access, environmental, and genetic factors on the health of Chicagoans.

RESULTS: Of 7552 participants, 132 (1.7%) were Muslim. Between Muslim and non-Muslims, there were no significant differences in prostate, cervical, and breast cancer screening rates, but Muslims were less likely to undergo colorectal cancer screening. When differences in obesity and insurance status were accounted for in a multivariate regression model, religious affiliation was no longer significantly associated with screening rates.

DISCUSSION: Religious values can influence cancer screening behaviors; hence, tracking cancer screening along religious lines may illuminate previously unknown disparities. Our analysis of a predominately African American cohort of Chicagoans, however, did not reveal religious affiliation to predict cancer screening disparities.