Mammography Rates Down Since 2009 USPSTF Guidelines

Decrease among white, Hispanic, and Asian women, but not among black women

THURSDAY, Feb. 12, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Since the publication of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force guidelines for mammography in 2009, there has been a decrease in mammography rates among white, Hispanic, and Asian women, according to a study published online Feb. 9 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

J. Frank Wharam, M.B., B.Ch., M.P.H., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues examined mammography trends among 5.5 million women aged 40 to 64 years. Trends from 2005 to 2009 were used to predict 2012 rates, and the estimated difference between observed and predicted 2012 annual and biennial rates was assessed.

The researchers found that the 2012 mammography rates decreased by 9.9 percent relative to the predicted 2012 rates for women aged 40 to 49 years; the lowest and highest decreases were recorded for black and Asian women, respectively. Among women aged 50 to 64 years, there was a 6.1 percent decrease in annual mammography rates by 2012. Women aged 40 to 49 years experienced a 9.0 percent relative reduction in biennial mammography rates, with similar relative reductions of approximately 9 to 11 percent for white, Hispanic, and Asian women, while no detectable changes were seen for black women. The relative reduction was 6.2 percent among women aged 50 to 64 years, with similar reductions among white, Hispanic, and Asian women, and no detectable change for black women.

"Small reductions in biennial mammography might be an unintended consequence of the updated guidelines," the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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