Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure, study finds

Date:
February 1, 2011
Source:
Kaiser Permanente
Summary:
Obese women may avoid mammograms because of pain and women under 60 may avoid the test because they are too busy, according to a new study.

Obese women may avoid mammograms because of pain and women under 60 may avoid the test because they are too busy, according to a study by Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research published online in the Journal of Women's Health. Funded by the National Cancer Institute, the study was one of the largest to examine why insured women fail to complete mammograms.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer among women in the United States, with one in eight developing breast cancer during their lifetimes, and 46,000 dying from it annually. Although regular mammograms can reduce breast cancer deaths by more than 30 percent, and the US Preventive Services Task Force recommends screenings every 1-2 years beginning at age 50, nearly one-third of eligible women do not get regular screenings.

"These are important findings because, even though we know that mammograms can save lives, many women put them off," said study lead author and physician Adrianne Feldstein, MD, a senior investigator with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research. "Our study found that, even when women have access to health care, there are still barriers to getting this important screening test. We need to do more to understand these barriers and help women overcome them."

The study looked at 4,708 women aged 50-69 at Kaiser Permanente in Oregon and Washington who had gone longer than 20 months since their last mammogram, and were reminded through postcards and phone calls that they would soon be due for the test. Researchers identified these women by looking at their medical records, which contained the date of their last mammogram. Researchers also examined physical and demographic information -- including height and weight, age, race, length of time on the health plan and family income -- to find out how these factors affected mammogram completion rates.

Characteristics associated with lower mammogram completion rates included being younger than 60, having a household income of less than $40,000, being obese, and having had health insurance coverage for fewer than five years.

A subset of 677 women were mailed a survey asking why they hadn't completed their mammograms. About half (340) of these women completed the survey. The reasons they cited most often for not completing a mammogram included the test causing too much pain, being too busy, and feeling embarrassed to have the test.

Nearly one-quarter of the women surveyed (24.7 percent) reported too much pain as a reason why they had not completed a mammogram. Obese women were nearly twice as likely as non-obese women to report pain as a deterrent (31 percent vs. 19 percent).

"We don't know why obese women report more pain with mammograms," said Dr. Feldstein. "One previous study suggests that obesity might be associated with a lower pain threshold. Nearly half of the women in our study were obese and obese women are more likely to get breast cancer, so we need to find better ways to ensure that these women are screened."

The authors point out that their study has implications for helping health care systems reduce barriers to mammogram completion. Since obese women reported receiving the same amount of advice to get screened as non-obese women, and did not report feeling more embarrassed to get mammograms, it's unlikely that they would respond to more clinician-oriented interventions. The authors suggest that patient-controlled compression or the use of alternate screening technologies could be especially helpful to obese women.

Women under 60 were more likely than those 60 and over to report being too busy to get a mammogram (19 percent of younger women said they were too busy, vs. only 6 percent of older women). The authors say that younger women might be more likely to complete mammograms if health care systems provided more opportunities for worksite screening and after-hours mammography appointments.

Study authors include: Adrianne Feldstein, MD, MS, Nancy Perrin, PhD, A. Gabriela Rosales, MS, Jennifer Schneider, MPH, and Mary M. Rix, RN, all with the Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research in Portland, Ore.; and Russell E. Glasgow, PhD, of the Institute for Health Research, Kaiser Permanente, Penrose, Colo.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kaiser Permanente. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Adrianne C. Feldstein, Nancy Perrin, A. Gabriela Rosales, Jennifer Schneider, Mary M. Rix, Russell E. Glasgow. Patient Barriers to Mammography Identified During a Reminder Program. Journal of Women's Health, 2011; 110128132724035 DOI: 10.1089/jwh.2010.2195

Cite This Page:

Kaiser Permanente. "Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure, study finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 February 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201093504.htm>.
Kaiser Permanente. (2011, February 1). Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure, study finds. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201093504.htm
Kaiser Permanente. "Obese women less likely to complete mammograms and more likely to report pain with the procedure, study finds." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/02/110201093504.htm (accessed September 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Ebola Costs Keep Mounting

Reuters - Business Video Online (Sep. 23, 2014) The WHO has warned up to 20,000 people could be infected with Ebola over the next few weeks. As Sonia Legg reports, the implications for the West African countries suffering from the disease are huge. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Ebola Cases Could Reach 1.4 Million Within 4 Months

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) Health officials warn that without further intervention, the number of Ebola cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone could reach 1.4 million by January. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

WHO: Ebola Cases to Triple in Weeks Without Drastic Action

AFP (Sep. 23, 2014) The number of Ebola infections will triple to 20,000 by November, soaring by thousands every week if efforts to stop the outbreak are not stepped up radically, the WHO warned in a study on Tuesday. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

5 Ways Men Can Prevent Most Heart Attacks

Newsy (Sep. 23, 2014) No surprise here: A recent study says men can reduce their risk of heart attack by maintaining a healthy lifestyle, which includes daily exercise. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins