Racial/ethnic differences in the self-reported use of screening mammography

J Community Health. 2003 Oct;28(5):303-16. doi: 10.1023/a:1025451412007.


The efficacy of mammography in reducing breast cancer mortality among women 50-69 years of age has been demonstrated in randomized controlled studies, but many women, especially ethnic minorities, have not been receiving regular mammographic screening. The current study investigated racial/ethnic differences in mammography use and their association with demographic characteristics and other factors. The study population consisted of 4,444 women aged 40 years and older who participated in the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Outcome measures studied included the self-reporting of mammography within the past two years and past year. Multivariate logistic regression modeling was used to examine the effect of race while controlling for other factors. In the univariate analysis, there was virtually no difference between white, black, and Hispanic women in mammography rates within either one or two years. However, multivariate logistic regression suggested that both blacks and Hispanics were more likely than whites to have received recent mammography, as black women were 31% and Hispanic women were 43% more likely than white women to have had a mammogram within the previous two years. Our results suggest that white women are no longer more likely to receive periodic screening mammography than black and Hispanic women, and in fact, might even be less likely to undergo the procedure. This reversal might indicate, at least in part, that programs and other activities to promote screening mammography among ethnic minority women have been successful and should now be expanded to include other women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • African Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Breast Neoplasms / ethnology*
  • European Continental Ancestry Group / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Health Surveys
  • Hispanic Americans / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States
  • Women's Health