Original Communication| Volume 144, ISSUE 3, P467-472, September 2008

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Racial trends in mammography rates: a population-based study


      The rates of mammography have been declining over the last 5 years. The objective of this study was to examine racial disparities in this trend.


      The National Health Interview Survey is a population-based interview survey conducted annually. Caucasian and African-American women over 40 years of age who completed the cancer module of this survey in 2000 and 2005 formed the cohort of interest for this study.


      In 2000, 69.8% of Caucasian and 64.4% of African-American women over the age of 40 had had a mammogram within the preceding 2 years. In 2005, these rates declined to 66.7% and 62.9% respectively. This decline only reached statistical significance in the Caucasian population (P = .0006 vs P = .4998). While on univariate analysis a significant difference was seen between rates of mammography in Caucasian and African-American women (P < .0001), multivariate analysis controlling for education, income, and insurance status, did not find race to be a significant independent predictor of mammography rates in each year.


      Rates of mammography are declining, particularly in Caucasian populations. While minority women are less likely to report having had a mammogram, this apparent racial disparity is explained by differences in education, income and insurance status.
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