Women in the U.S. between the ages of 65 and 69 may have a much higher risk of getting cervical cancer than was previously thought.
A team at the University of Maryland School of Medicine made the finding when they reworked the data that current guidelines for Pap smears is based on.
Pap smears are done to detect changes that could lead to cervical cancer.
The researchers say the guidelines don't account for the high rate of hysterectomy in the U.S.
With that rate factored in, the team says the rate of cervical cancer for women 65 to 69 jumped by 83 percent and was even higher for black women.
This rare but deadly form of cancer is diagnosed in 12,000 American women each year and kills 4,000.