Cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, and screening mammography among women ages 50 and older

Prev Med. 1999 Apr;28(4):407-17. doi: 10.1006/pmed.1998.0445.


Background: The associations among cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption with recent screening mammograms were evaluated among women ages 50 years and older.

Methods: The sample included 946 white and African-American women ages 50 years and older from the 1995 Maryland Behavioral Risk Factor Survey. Bivariate and logistic regression analyses were performed to evaluate the associations between current cigarette smoking and alcohol consumption in the past month (none, 1-7 drinks, >7 drinks) with obtaining a screening mammogram in the past 2 years (recent mammogram), controlling for sociodemographic and health variables.

Results: Seventy-eight percent of respondents had recent mammograms, 15% smoked cigarettes, 18% reported 1-7 drinks, and 12% reported >7 drinks in the past month. Smokers had lower mammography rates than nonsmokers (odds ratio (OR) = 0.47, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 0.30-0.75). Women who drank alcoholic beverages had higher mammography rates than nondrinkers (OR = 1.37, 95% CI = 1.03-1.83). Smokers had the lowest mammography rates, regardless of their consumption of alcohol. An interaction was observed among white but not African-American women: nonsmokers who consumed moderate amounts of alcohol (1-7 drinks) had the highest mammography rates in this subgroup.

Conclusions: To reduce breast cancer mortality, it is important to increase screening mammography among all women over age 50 and especially among smokers and the oldest women.

MeSH terms

  • African Americans / psychology
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alcohol Drinking / epidemiology*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control
  • Breast Neoplasms / psychology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / psychology
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Behavior* / ethnology
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Maryland / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Factors
  • Sampling Studies
  • Smoking / epidemiology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Women's Health*