Background: Major national interventions occurred in the early and mid-1990s to increase mammography screening rates among older women. The current study examined mammography utilization by older women during this period. Relation between mammography utilization and demographic measures and health care-related factors also were examined.
Methods: A cross-sectional design examined variations in mammography during the 5 years between 1993 to 1997 in a representative sample of 10,000 female Medicare beneficiaries in Michigan age >or= 65 years in 1993. Medicare and census data were used. Separate analyses were performed for having undergone any mammogram and, for the 5680 women who had undergone a mammogram, the number of mammograms. Relations were examined between mammography utilization and 15 demographic variables (e.g., age and African-American race) and health care-related variables (e.g., inpatient admissions and number of physicians involved in care).
Results: In the 5 years 43% of older women had no evidence of having undergone a mammogram. Those with any mammogram averaged 2.8 mammograms. Meaningful independent predictors of both having undergone a mammogram and having more than one mammogram were more physicians involved in care, fewer inpatient admissions, and younger age. Having undergone a mammogram also was found to be associated with seeing an obstetrician/gynecologist.
Conclusions: Even with screening mammography as a covered benefit and after several national informational campaigns, the current study found that in 5 years, 60% of older women either had not undergone a mammogram or had undergone only 1. Intervention efforts should emphasize screening based on functional status, not age. This message should be targeted to physicians as well as to older women without claims for recent mammograms and who are likely to be in good health.
Copyright 2003 American Cancer Society.