Mammogram rate did not decline after controversial USPSTF recommendations

More than three years after the United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommended against routine mammogram screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49, a study from Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) finds that mammogram rates in the United States have not declined in that age group, or any other. The study results are published in the April 19, 2013 online edition of the journal Cancer.

"If the USPSTF recommendations had been widely adopted, we would have expected to see a significant decline in mammography rates among women in their forties," said the study's lead author, Lydia Pace, MD, MPH, a global women's health fellow in the Division of Women's Health at BWH. "However, this study demonstrates that are continuing to get mammograms."

Researchers analyzed data from nearly 28,000 women who were asked about their mammography use during the 2005, 2008 and 2011 National . They found that among all women, mammography rates rose at a slight but statistically non-significant rate between 2008 and 2011 from 51.9 percent to 53.6 percent. Among women in the 40 to 49 age group, mammography rates also rose at a slight but statistically non-significant rate between 2008 and 2011 from 46.1 percent to 47.5 percent.

"Our research does not explain the reasons why mammography rates did not decline, but it is worth noting that several prominent professional and advocacy organizations continue to recommend mammography screening for women between the ages of 40 and 49," said Dr. Pace. "Providers may disagree with the USPSTF recommendations or they may not have the time or the tools needed for discussions with patients about the relative benefits and harms of mammography. Patients may also disagree with the recommendations and may still be requesting annual or self-referring to mammography facilities."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New studies show effects of mammography guideline changes

Nov 27, 2012

Researchers assessing the impact of revised guidelines for screening mammography issued by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) found evidence that the new recommendations may lead to missed cancers and a decline ...

Age 50 as mammography screening threshold proven unfounded

Sep 30, 2010

The landmark breast cancer screening study of women 40-49, published online in Cancer, has proven that annual mammography screening of women in their 40s reduces the breast cancer death rate in these women by nearly 30 per ...

Recommended for you

Pain and itch may be signs of skin cancer

13 hours ago

Asking patients if a suspicious skin lesion is painful or itchy may help doctors decide whether the spot is likely to be cancerous, according to a new study headed by Gil Yosipovitch, MD, Chairman of the Department of Dermatology ...

Genetics of cancer: Non-coding DNA can finally be decoded

17 hours ago

Cancer is a disease of the genome resulting from a combination of genetic modifications (or mutations). We inherit from our parents strong or weak predispositions to developing certain kinds of cancer; in addition, we also ...

User comments