Participation in mammography screening among migrants and non-migrants in Denmark

Acta Oncol. 2012 Jan;51(1):28-36. doi: 10.3109/0284186X.2011.626447. Epub 2011 Oct 30.


Background: Inequality in use of mammography screening across population groups is a concern since migrants are more likely to become non-users compared to the general population. The aim of this study was to a) identify determinants of participation among migrant groups and Danish-born women with emphasis on the effect of household size, socioeconomic position and use of healthcare services, and b) test whether effects of determinants were consistent across migrant and non-migrant groups.

Material and methods: We used data from the first eight invitation rounds of the mammography screening programme in Copenhagen, Denmark (1991-2008) in combination with register-based data.

Results: The crude odds ratio (OR) for not participating in mammography screening was 1.38 (95% CI, 1.30-1.46) for women born in other-Western and 1.80 (95% CI, 1.71-1.90) for women born in non-Western countries compared to Danish-born women. The adjusted OR was 1.14 (95% CI, 1.06-1.21) for other-Western and 1.19 (95% CI, 1.11-1.27) for women born in non-Western countries. Lack of contact with a general practitioner or dental services, and not being employed had a significant negative effect on use of mammography screening. Higher-educated women were significantly less likely to use mammography screening in all groups whilst hospitalisation had a significant effect among Danish-born women. Living alone was consistently associated with non-use of mammography screening. The probability of becoming a non-user was significantly less among women living within households of two to four persons compared to women living alone. Except in the case of age and hospitalisation, trends were similar across country of birth, but the relative importance of specific determinants in explaining use of mammography screening differed.

Conclusion: Household size, socioeconomic position and use of healthcare services were determinants of participation in mammography screening. This study emphasises the need for conducting refined analyses distinguishing among subgroups within diverse populations when explaining differences in screening behaviour.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Denmark
  • Early Detection of Cancer / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Acceptance of Health Care / statistics & numerical data*
  • Social Class
  • Social Support
  • Transients and Migrants / psychology
  • Transients and Migrants / statistics & numerical data*