Associations between religion-related factors and breast cancer screening among American Muslims

J Immigr Minor Health. 2015 Jun;17(3):660-9. doi: 10.1007/s10903-014-0014-y.


American Muslims have low rates of mammography utilization, and research suggests that religious values influence their health-seeking behaviors. We assessed associations between religion-related factors and breast cancer screening in this population. A diverse group of Muslim women were recruited from mosques and Muslim organization sites in Greater Chicago to self-administer a survey incorporating measures of fatalism, religiosity, discrimination, and Islamic modesty. 254 surveys were collected of which 240 met age inclusion criteria (40 years of age or older). Of the 240, 72 respondents were Arab, 71 South Asian, 59 African American, and 38 identified with another ethnicity. 77% of respondents had at least one mammogram in their lifetime, yet 37% had not obtained mammography within the past 2 years. In multivariate models, positive religious coping, and perceived religious discrimination in healthcare were negatively associated with having a mammogram in the past 2 years, while having a PCP was positively associated. Ever having a mammogram was positively associated with increasing age and years of US residency, and knowing someone with breast cancer. Promoting biennial mammography among American Muslims may require addressing ideas about religious coping and combating perceived religious discrimination through tailored interventions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Chicago
  • Early Detection of Cancer
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Behavior / ethnology*
  • Humans
  • Islam*
  • Mammography / statistics & numerical data*
  • Middle Aged
  • Physicians, Primary Care
  • Prejudice