Obesity, gynecological factors, and abnormal mammography follow-up in minority and medically underserved women

J Womens Health (Larchmt). 2009 Jul;18(7):1033-9. doi: 10.1089/jwh.2008.0791.


Background: The relationship between obesity and screening mammography adherence has been examined previously, yet few studies have investigated obesity as a potential mediator of timely follow-up of abnormal (Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System [BIRADS-0]) mammography results in minority and medically underserved patients.

Methods: We conducted a retrospective cohort study of 35 women who did not return for follow-up >6 months from index abnormal mammography and 41 who returned for follow-up < or =6 months in Nashville, Tennessee. Patients with a BIRADS-0 mammography event in 2003-2004 were identified by chart review. Breast cancer risk factors were collected by telephone interview. Multivariate logistic regression was performed on selected factors with return for diagnostic follow-up.

Results: Obesity and gynecological history were significant predictors of abnormal mammography resolution. A significantly higher frequency of obese women delayed return for mammography resolution compared with nonobese women (64.7% vs. 35.3%). A greater number of hysterectomized women returned for diagnostic follow-up compared with their counterparts without a hysterectomy (77.8% vs. 22.2%). Obese patients were more likely to delay follow-up >6 months (adjusted OR 4.09, p = 0.02). Conversely, hysterectomized women were significantly more likely to return for timely mammography follow-up < or =6 months (adjusted OR 7.95, p = 0.007).

Conclusions: Study results suggest that weight status and gynecological history influence patients' decisions to participate in mammography follow-up studies. Strategies are necessary to reduce weight-related barriers to mammography follow-up in the healthcare system including provider training related to mammography screening of obese women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Breast Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Medically Underserved Area*
  • Minority Groups*
  • Obesity* / complications
  • Patient Compliance* / ethnology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Women's Health*