Cancer screening and risk factor rates among American Indians.
OBJECTIVES: We examined cancer screening and risk factor patterns in California using 4 different statistical tabulations of American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) populations. METHODS: We used the 2001 California Health Interview Survey to compare cancer screening and risk factor data across 4 different tabulation approaches. We calculated weighted prevalence estimates by gender and race/ethnicity for cancer screening and risk factors, sociodemographic characteristics, and access to care variables. We compared AIAN men and women with members of other racial groups and examined outcomes among AIAN men and women using the 4 tabulation methods. RESULTS: Although some differences were small, in general, screening and risk factor rates among American Indians/Alaska Natives were most similar to rates among Whites when the most inclusive multiracial tabulation approach was used and least similar when the more exclusive US census "single-race" approach was used. CONCLUSIONS: Racial misclassification and undercounting are among the most difficult obstacles to obtaining accurate and informative data on the AIAN population. Our analysis suggests some guidelines for overcoming these obstacles.