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J Community Health. 2013 Apr;38(2):338-48. doi: 10.1007/s10900-012-9619-z.

Are obese women more likely to participate in a mobile mammography program?

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Department of Pharmaceutical Systems & Policy, School of Pharmacy, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV 26506-9510, USA.


Mobile mammography services are typically offered as a means to increase access and adherence to mammography screenings. As mobile mammography becomes a viable strategy to increase screening, a 3 year study of such a state-wide program in WV found surprisingly high rates of obesity within the study population. Thus, the objectives were to: (1) describe the demographic characteristics and comorbidities of women who utilized the WV program, and (2) determine the association between body mass index (BMI) and personal health and screening history, preventive care and wellness behaviors, nutrition and exercise behaviors, and demographics. Data collected from 1,099 women, age 40 and above, were analyzed using descriptive statistics, bivariate analyses, and a multivariate regression model. The majority (60.4 %) were married, had an income <$25,000 (59.2 %), and had health insurance (53.5 %). Major comorbidities were hypertension (49 %) and high cholesterol (43.9 %). Based on BMI scores, 884 participants were either overweight (26.6 %), mildly obese (27.7 %), moderately obese (15.1 %), or severely obese (11.1 %). Bivariate analyses indicated that increasing BMI was significantly associated with factors such as having hypertension or diabetes, limited daily activities, perceived health, and not smoking or drinking. The regression model was significant (p < 0.001; R2 = 0.425) indicating that women who engaged in preventive care behaviors were less likely to be obese than those who did not. The WV mobile mammography program appeared to attract women who were disproportionately obese and had multiple comorbidities, thus providing a great opportunity for targeted interventions related to improving preventive care and screening behaviors.

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