FRIDAY, June 24, 2022 (HealthDay News) — For women with abnormal results on screening mammograms, minority race and ethnicity are associated with an increased risk for not receiving a biopsy within 30, 60, or 90 days, according to a study published online June 23 in JAMA Oncology.

Marissa B. Lawson, M.D., from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a prospective cohort study using data for 45,186 women aged 40 to 79 years with abnormal results in 46,185 screening mammograms conducted at 109 imaging facilities between 2009 and 2019.

The researchers found that 34.6, 16.2, and 12.2 percent of the mammograms with abnormal results recommended for biopsy were not resolved within 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, respectively. An increased risk for no biopsy within 30 and 60 days was seen for Asian, Black, and Hispanic women compared with White women; the unadjusted risk for no biopsy within 90 days was only significant for Black women. The risk for no biopsy within 90 days for Black women was not changed substantially by adjustment for selected individual, neighborhood, and health care-level factors; after adjustment for screening facility, the risk decreased modestly but remained significantly elevated.

“This risk of not having a timely biopsy was substantially attenuated, but not eliminated, after adjusting for screening facility, suggesting that structural racism, within and beyond health care, may contribute to these differences,” the authors write.

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