WEDNESDAY, Sept. 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) — Providing individualized breast cancer risk estimates as a component of primary health care is associated with an increased use of mammography among women of racial- and ethnic-minority groups who are at high risk for breast cancer, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in JAMA Network Open.

Candice Schwartz, M.D., from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and colleagues examined whether providing individualized breast cancer risk estimates is associated with an increase in the rate of screening mammography. The analysis included 188 women receiving routine primary health care at federally qualified health centers in medically underserved communities in Chicago.

The researchers found that 52.1 percent of women had an average risk for developing breast cancer, while 47.9 percent of women were at high risk. There was a nonsignificant increase in the mammography rate among those women receiving an individualized risk assessment (48.9 percent) versus women receiving usual care (38.8 percent; odds ratio, 1.37; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.92 to 2.03). However, when examining only women at high risk, the mammography rate was significantly higher after versus before risk assessment (51.1 versus 36.6 percent; odds ratio, 1.88; 95 percent confidence interval, 1.10 to 3.23).

“Implementation of this approach in underserved communities could promote equity in the use of mammography and reduce racial disparities in breast cancer mortality,” the authors write.

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