By Sherry Kahn
WESTPORT, Sept 07 (Reuters Health) - Based on data from the New Mexico Mammography Project, routine use of screening mammography is low in all age groups, especially among Hispanics and American Indians.
As reported in the September issue of the American Journal of Epidemiology, Dr. Frank D. Gilliland, of the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles, and colleagues evaluated the use of screening mammograms by women residents in the Albuquerque, New Mexico, metropolitan area from 1994 to 1997.
During the study period, 234,100 mammograms were performed on 120,048 women. Of the women who had mammograms, 64% were non-Hispanic white, 28% were Hispanic and fewer than 3% were American Indian, the authors report.
The researchers found that "less than half of the population of women who are recommended to have yearly mammograms were screened each year." The annual screening rate was 46% for women ages 50 to 74 years. The rate was 49% for non-Hispanic whites, 40% for Hispanics, and 37% for American Indians.
In comparison, approximately one third of the women in the 40 to 49 and 75 to 84 age groups were screened each year, the authors report.
"Since it has been demonstrated that a 25% to 30% reduction in breast cancer mortality can be achieved with routine screening, the lack of such behavior is a public health concern," Dr. Gilliland explained in an interview with Reuters Health.
"Physicians need to develop methods to get women to return each year for a screening, and they also need to adapt their communications specifically to the cultural group involved," he advised.
ReferenceAm J Epidemiol 2000;152:432-437. (Abstract not currently available online.)
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