Update on mammography trends: comparisons of rates in 2000, 2005, and 2008

Cancer. 2011 May 15;117(10):2209-18. doi: 10.1002/cncr.25679. Epub 2010 Nov 30.


Background: Mammography screening allows for the early detection of breast cancer, which helps reduce mortality from breast cancer, especially in women aged 50 to 69 years. For this report, the authors updated a previous analysis of trends in mammography using newly available data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

Methods: NHIS data from 2008 were used to update trends in rates of US women who had a mammogram within the 2 years before their interview, and 2 methods of calculating rates were compared. The authors focused particularly on the 2000, 2005, and 2008 mammography rates for women aged ≥ 40 years, 40 to 49 years, 50 to 64 years, and ≥ 65 years according to selected sociodemographic and healthcare access characteristics.

Results: For women aged 50 to 64 years and ≥ 65 years, the patterns were similar: Rates rose rapidly from 1987 to 2000, declined, or were stable and then declined, from 2000 to 2005, and increased from 2005 to 2008. Rates for women aged 40 to 49 years rose rapidly from 1987 to 1992 and were relatively stable through 2008. There were large increases in mammography rates among immigrants who had been in the United States for <10 years, non-Hispanic Asian women, and women aged ≥ 65 years who were without ambulatory care insurance.

Conclusions: Overall, mammography rates did not continue to decline between 2005 and 2008. Even so, in 2008, the percentage of women aged ≥ 40 years who had a recent mammogram fell below the Healthy People 2010 objective of 70%, which was met in 2000. However, women aged 50 to 64 years exceeded the Healthy People objective in 2000, 2005, and 2008; and some groups with very low mammography rates currently are catching up. These are important public health achievements.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / diagnostic imaging*
  • Early Detection of Cancer*
  • Female
  • Health Care Surveys
  • Humans
  • Mammography / trends*
  • Mass Screening / trends
  • Middle Aged
  • United States