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Disparities in abnormal mammogram follow-up time for Asian women compared with non-Hispanic white women and between Asian ethnic groups.

  • Author(s): Nguyen, Kim H
  • Pasick, Rena J
  • Stewart, Susan L
  • Kerlikowske, Karla
  • Karliner, Leah S
  • et al.


Delays in abnormal mammogram follow-up contribute to poor outcomes. In the current study, the authors examined differences in abnormal screening mammogram follow-up between non-Hispanic white (NHW) and Asian women.


The authors used a prospective cohort of NHW and Asian women with a Breast Imaging, Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) abnormal result of category 0 or 3-plus in the San Francisco Mammography Registry between 2000 and 2010. Kaplan-Meier estimation for the median number of days to follow-up with a diagnostic radiologic test was performed, and the authors compared the percentage of women with follow-up at 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days and no follow-up at 1 year for Asian women overall (and Asian ethnic groups) and NHW women. In addition, the authors assessed the relationship between race/ethnicity and time to follow-up with adjusted Cox proportional hazards models.


Among Asian women, Vietnamese and Filipina women had the longest, and Japanese women the shortest, median follow-up (32 days, 28 days, and 19 days, respectively) compared with NHW women (15 days). The percentage of women receiving follow-up at 30 days was lower for Asians versus NHWs (57% vs 77%; P<.0001), and these disparities persisted at 60 days and 90 days for all Asian ethnic groups except Japanese. Asian women had a reduced hazard of follow-up compared with NHW women (adjusted hazard ratio, 0.70; 95% confidence interval, 0.69-0.72). Asian women also had a higher rate of receiving no follow-up compared with NHW women (15% vs 10%; P<.001); among Asian ethnic groups, Filipinas were found to have the highest percentage of women with no follow-up (18.1%).


Asian women, particularly Filipina and Vietnamese women, were less likely than NHW women to receive timely follow-up after an abnormal screening mammogram. Research should disaggregate Asian ethnicity to better understand and address barriers to effective cancer prevention. Cancer 2017;123:3468-75. © 2017 American Cancer Society.

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