Objective: To examine current disparities in mammography use, and changes in disparities over time by race, ethnicity, income, insurance, and combinations of these characteristics.
Research design: Comparison of cross-sectional surveys of mammography use using the 1993 and 2005 National Health Interview Survey.
Subjects: Women aged 40-64 (1993, n = 4167; 2005, n = 7434).
Measures: Mammogram within prior 2 years.
Results: In 2005, uninsured women reported the lowest mammography use (38.3%). Though screening increased 6.9 percentage points among low-income, uninsured women, the overall disparity between insured and uninsured women did not change significantly between 1993 and 2005. Screening seems to have declined among middle-income, uninsured women, increasing the gap compared with middle-income, insured women. The lower mammography use in 1993 among American Indian/Alaska Native compared with white women was not present in 2005; however, lower use among Asian compared with white women emerged in 2005. We found no differences between African American and white women. Hispanic women were less likely than non-Hispanic women to report screening in 2005 (58.1% vs. 69.0%).
Conclusions: Although mammography use increased for some groups between 1993 and 2005, low-income, uninsured women continued to have the lowest screening rates in 2005 and the disparity for this group was not reduced. The gap in screening use for middle-income, uninsured women increased, resulting from possible declines in mammography even for uninsured women not in poverty. Asian women became less likely to receive screening in 2005. Continuing efforts are needed to eliminate disparities. Increased efforts are especially needed to address the large persistent disparity for uninsured women, including middle-income uninsured women.