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24-05-2021 | Breast cancer | News

News in brief

COVID-19 declines in breast cancer screening show sociodemographic inequities

Author: Shreeya Nanda


medwireNews: The declines in breast cancer screening during the COVID-19 pandemic are more marked among women from minority communities and those living in rural areas, report US researchers.

They identified an overall decrease of 49% in screening mammograms conducted during April–December 2020 relative to the same period in 2019 (n=27,522 vs 55,678 screenings) within a community healthcare system in Washington state.

When stratified by race, there were “greater and significant reductions” in screenings during 2020 versus 2019 among non-White compared with White women, report Ofer Amram (Washington State University, Spokane) and colleagues in a research letter to JAMA Network Open.

Specifically, the decreases among Hispanic, American Indian or Alaska Native, mixed race, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, Asian, and Black women were 64.2%, 60.9%, 56.2%, 54.5%, 54.5%, and 53.9%, respectively, compared with a decline of 49.2% among White women.

The decline in screening during the pandemic was also significantly greater for women living in rural than urban areas, at nearly 60% and around 50%, respectively.

“Our findings suggest another inequity in the COVID pandemic due to greater reduction in utilization of cancer screening services for women with lower socioeconomic status, who are in underserved racial/ethnic groups, and live in rural communities,” concludes the team.

medwireNews is an independent medical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Ltd. © 2021 Springer Healthcare Ltd, part of the Springer Nature Group

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JAMA Netw Open 2021; 4: e2110946