Adherence to Screening Mammography Can be Lower in Older Women with Functional Limitations

New BCSC study suggests that older women with a higher burden of functional limitations are less likely to be adherent to screening mammography.

Posted by Dongyu Zhang at 1:00 PM on Nov 16, 2021


Prior research reporting screening mammography patterns in older women with functional limitations is limited, suggesting that large-scale epidemiologic data is needed to examine utilization of screening mammography in this population.

A new study published in Preventive Medicine used Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium-Medicare linked data (1999–2014) to investigate the association of functional limitations with adherence to screening mammography in 145,478 women aged 66–74 years. The study examined whether baseline and longitudinal adherence to screening mammography differed by functional limitations. The authors defined functional limitation burden using a 16-item index reflecting pre-existing functional impairments and illnesses. The study found that among women aged 66-74 years, baseline and longitudinal adherence to screening mammography declined as the functional limitation burden increased. This pattern exists after adjusting for burden of comorbidities. Based on the results, the authors conclude that higher burden of functional limitations is associated with a lower rate of screening mammography use among older women. The study suggests that interventions are needed to individualize screening mammography among older women based on their functional status.

Full text citation and link: Zhang D, Abraham L, Sprague BL, Onega T, Advani S, Demb J, Miglioretti DL, Henderson LM, Wernli KJ, Walter LC, Kerlikowske K, Schousboe JT, Chrischilles E, Braithwaite D, O'Meara ES. Mammography adherence in relation to function-related indicators in older women. Prev Med, 2021 Nov 8;106869. Online ahead of print. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2021.106869 [Link to article]

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Posted by: Dongyu Zhang