Objective: Evidence-based recommendations for routine breast cancer screening suggest that women begin mammography at age 40, although some women receive a mammogram before that age. Little is known about mammography use among younger women, especially with respect to race and ethnicity.
Methods: We used data from the 2005 National Health Interview Survey to examine racial/ethnic differences in mammography use among U.S. women ages 30-39. We examined descriptive characteristics of women who reported ever having a mammogram, and used logistic regression to estimate associations between race/ethnicity and mammography use among women at average risk for breast cancer.
Results: Our sample comprised 3,098 women (18% Hispanic, 13% non-Hispanic [NH] black, 69% NH white), of whom 29% reported having ever had a mammogram. NH black women were more likely than NH white women to report ever having a mammogram and receiving multiple mammograms before age 40 among women of average risk. Patterns of mammography use for Hispanic women compared to NH white women varied.
Conclusion: Findings suggest differential utilization of mammograms by race/ethnicity among women outside current recommendations and of average risk. Future studies should examine the role of practice patterns and patient-provider communication.