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Am J Public Health. 1989 Nov;79(11):1499-502.

Breast cancer screening by mammography: utilization and associated factors.

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School of Public Health, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003.


The status of mammography screening experience and factors related to utilization were examined in six towns serviced by physician staffs at five hospitals. Data were collected via random digit dial telephone interview of a probability sample of 1184 women, aged 45-75 years. The results showed that 55% of the women reported ever having had a mammogram. Of those who had ever had a mammogram, 21% reported that the mammogram in the past year was their first one. Of those women who are over 50 and had ever had a mammogram, 57% reported one in the past year. Analyses demonstrated that a combination of demographic factors, certain beliefs and knowledge, having a regular physician, social interaction and media exposure are independently related to ever having a mammogram, and to having one in the past year. Despite anecdotal and empirical evidence that the proportion of women ever having had a mammogram has substantially increased in the past several years, increasing utilization among older and lower-income women provides a challenge for public health.

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