Cancer Screening of Older Adults in Israel According to Life Expectancy: Cross Sectional Study

Ronen Bareket*, Mara A. Schonberg, Doron Comaneshter, Yochai Schonmann, Michal Shani, Arnon Cohen, Shlomo Vinker

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: To examine over-screening of older Israelis for colon and breast cancer. Design: Cross sectional. Setting: Clalit Health Services (CHS), Israel's largest health maintenance organization (HMO), provides care for more than half of the country's population and operates a national age-based programs for cancer screening. Participants: All community-dwelling members aged 65 to 79 in 2014 (N = 370,876). Measurements: We used CHS data warehouse to evaluate cancer screening during 2014. Life expectancy (LE) was estimated using the validated Schonberg index. Results: Almost one-quarter (23.1%; 15.6% of adults aged 65–74, 42.7% of adults aged 75–79) of the study population had an estimated LE of less than 10 years. Annual fecal occult blood test and biannual mammography rates among adults aged 65 to 74 with a LE of 10 years or longer were 37.1% and 70.0%, respectively. Rates dropped after age 75 (4.0%, 19.5%) and to a lesser extent with a LE of less than 10 years (31.6%, 56.4%). Prostate-specific antigen testing is not part of the national screening program, and the proportion of people tested (42.6%), did not vary similarly with age of 75 and older (43.2%) or LE of less than 10 years (38.1%). Conclusion: The cancer screening inclusion criteria of the national referral system have a strong effect on receipt of screening; LE considerations are less influential. Some method of estimating LE could be incorporated into algorithms to improve individualized cancer screening to reduce over- and underscreening of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2539-2544
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


FundersFunder number
Nancer Cancer InstituteR01 CA181357
National Institute on AgingR01 AG041869
National Cancer InstituteR01CA181357


    • community health planning
    • early detection of cancer
    • life expectancy
    • medical overuse


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