Background: In November 2009, the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) issued new recommendations regarding mammography screening. The Task Force recommended against routine screening for women ages 40 to 49 years and recommended biennial screening for women ages 50 to 74 years. The recommendations met great controversy in mass media and medical literature; whether they have had an impact on screening patterns is not known. The objective of this study was to determine whether the 2009 USPSTF recommendations led to changes in screening rates among women ages 40 to 49 years and ages 50 to 74 years.
Methods: The authors performed cross-sectional assessments of mammography screening in 2005, 2008, and 2011 using data from the National Health Interview Survey, a nationally representative, in-person, household survey of the civilian, noninstitutionalized US population. In total, 27,829 women ages ≥ 40 years responded to the 2005, 2008, or 2011 surveys and reported about their mammography use. The primary outcome assessed was self-reported mammography screening in the past year.
Results: When adjusted for race, income, education level, insurance, and immigration status, mammography rates increased slightly from 2008 to 2011 (from 51.9% to 53.6%; P = .07) and did not decline within any age group. Among women ages 40 to 49 years, screening rates were 46.1% in 2008 and 47.5% in 2011 (P = 0.38). For women ages 50 to 74, screening rates were 57.2 in 2008 and 59.1 in 2011 (P = 0.09).
Conclusions: Mammography rates did not decrease among women aged >40 years after publication of the USPSTF recommendations in 2009, suggesting that the vigorous policy debates and coverage in the media and medical literature have had an impact on the adoption of these recommendations.
Keywords: breast cancer; guidelines; mammography; screening.
© 2013 American Cancer Society.