Clinical Edge

Summaries of Must-Read Clinical Literature, Guidelines, and FDA Actions

Mammography Screening Patterns Evaluated

Womens Health Issues; ePub 2017 Sep 18; Jacobson, et al

Mammography screening initiation by US physicians and patients converged primarily at age 40 during the 1990s, with pricing and guidelines serving as key determinants of the age of screening initiation, a recent study found. The case study examined mammography use rates by single year of age to understand compliance with guideline-recommended initiation ages in the 1990s. Mammography test use data was taken primarily from the 1991 to 2001 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System with the analytic sample including all women aged 35 to 54 years. Researchers found:

  • There was a discrete 8.7-percentage point increase in mammography use precisely at age 40 years and a much smaller 1.6-percetnage point increase at age 50 years.
  • The findings varied by insurance status, with the insured experiencing a large, discrete increase primarily at age 40 years and the uninsured experiencing notable discrete increases at ages 40 and 50 years.


Jacobson M, Kadiyala S. When guidelines conflict: A case study of mammography screening initiation in the 1990s. [Published online ahead of print September 18, 2017]. Womens Health Issues. doi:10.1016/j.whi.2017.08.005.

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