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J Natl Med Assoc. 2008 May;100(5):508-15.

Family matters in mammography screening among African-American women age > 40.

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  • 1Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.



To examine how family history of cancer influences the mammography screening behaviors of asymptomatic African-American women.


Using the National Health Interview Survey's 2000 Cancer Control Module, the authors performed bivariate analyses and multivariate logistic regressions with SAS/SUDAAN due to the complex sampling design.


Of the 1,531 African-American women in the final sample, 38% had a family history of cancer. Women with a family history of cancer were 39% more likely to have a recent mammogram compared to women with no family history of cancer (OR = 1.39; 95% CI: 1.06-1.81; p < 0.05). Eighty-five percent of African-American women aged > 40 with a family history of cancer indicated having a mammogram in the past compared to nearly 70% of African-American women without a family history of cancer.


Family history of any cancer independently and positively predicted mammography screening behaviors among asymptomatic African-American women. This suggests that African-American women with a history of cancer in their family are more likely (and perhaps more motivated) to engage in early cancer detection practices.

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