Health disparities in receipt of screening mammography in Latinas: a critical review of recent literature

Cancer Control. 2007 Oct;14(4):369-79. doi: 10.1177/107327480701400407.


Background: Increased use of screening mammography is associated with lower death rates from breast cancer in the United States. Despite recommendations that women over 40 years of age should obtain regular screening mammography at least every 2 years, many women do not adhere to these guidelines. Historically, women from underserved and minority populations have been less likely to receive screening mammography.

Methods: A critical review of recent research literature was conducted to evaluate whether Latinas are less likely to receive screening mammography, determine whether disparities in screening mammography persist when controlling for other variables, and examine what other variables are associated with screening mammography. The articles were obtained from a search of the PubMed database.

Results: Fifteen published articles met the inclusion criteria and were critically reviewed. The unadjusted odds ratios (ORs) of the association between Hispanic ethnicity and screening mammography ranged from 0.40 to 0.93. For the most part, the ORs adjusted for other variables in multiple logistic regression analyses increased (range: 0.3 to 1.67). Age, education, income, health insurance, having a usual source of care, and having a recent visit to a physician were consistently related to screening mammography in multiple logistic regression analysis.

Conclusions: Hispanic ethnicity is a risk factor for lack of adherence to screening mammography. However, other demographic, socioeconomic, and health system variables account for some of the disparity related to Hispanic ethnicity.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Healthcare Disparities*
  • Hispanic Americans*
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Mass Screening / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Odds Ratio
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / ethnology*
  • Risk Factors
  • United States