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J Aging Health. 1990 Nov;2(4):514-30.

Age group differences in the use of breast cancer screening tests. The effects of health care utilization and socioeconomic variables.

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State University of New York, Stony Brook.


The age-related decline in the use of breast cancer screening tests, specifically periodic mammography and physical breast examinations by a doctor, is especially problematic given that breast cancer risk increases with age. Survey data (N = 3,507) from the Awareness of Breast Cancer Project are used to compare the effects of socioeconomic variables and usual health care use variables on recent use of breast cancer screening tests in women 50 to 75 years of age on Long Island, New York. Having annual checkups and seeing an obstetrician/gynecologist for routine health care are the best predictors of recent mammography and breast physical exams for all women. Income level and education are not independent predictors of recent screening for women over 65. The implications of the effect of primary care practioners on periodic breast cancer screening in older women are discussed.

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