Women who do not vote 'less likely' to be tested for cancer

Women who do not vote in elections are less likely to attend smear tests to check for the early signs of cervical cancer, research has found. he findings of the study, conducted by a team at University College London, suggest women who are disillusioned generally with society are less likely to take up screening tests.

The researchers interviewed 580 women aged between 26 and 64 and found that those who rarely or never voted were twice as likely to be overdue for a smear test than those who voted regularly.

Uptake of cervical smear screening reached an all-time low in 2008 when it dipped below 80 per cent for the first time in its 20 year history, the study published in the Journal of Medical Screening.

Many women said they were embarrassed or frightened of screening but this did not predict which women would attend for tests as those who did attend mentioned these factors too. Instead the most common reason for not being screened were practical factors such as not getting around to it or difficulty in getting an appointment.

Source - Telegraph