Changes in mammography utilization by women's characteristics during the first 5 months of the COVID-19 pandemic
Sprague BL, Lowry KP, Miglioretti DL, et al. Changes in mammography use by women’s characteristics during the first 5 months of the covid-19 pandemic. J Natl Cancer Inst. 2021;113(9):1161-1167. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djab045.
BACKGROUND: The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic led to a near-total cessation of mammography services in the United States in mid-March 2020. It is unclear if screening and diagnostic mammography volumes have recovered to pre-pandemic levels and whether utilization has varied by women's characteristics.
METHODS: We collected data on 461,083 screening mammograms and 112,207 diagnostic mammograms conducted during January 2019 through July 2020 at 62 radiology facilities in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. We compared monthly screening and diagnostic mammography volumes before and during the pandemic, stratified by age, race/ethnicity, breast density, and family history of breast cancer.
RESULTS: Screening and diagnostic mammography volumes in April 2020 were 1.1% (95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.5% to 2.4%) and 21.4% (95% CI = 18.7% to 24.4%) of April 2019 pre-pandemic volumes, respectively, but by July 2020 rebounded to 89.7% (95% CI = 79.6% to 101.1%) and 101.6% (95% CI = 93.8% to 110.1%) of July 2019 pre-pandemic volumes, respectively. The year-to-date cumulative volume of screening and diagnostic mammograms performed through July 2020 was 66.2% (95% CI = 60.3% to 72.6%) and 79.9% (95% CI = 75.4% to 84.6%), respectively, of year-to-date volume through July 2019. Screening mammography rebound was similar across age groups and by family history of breast cancer. Monthly screening mammography volume in July 2020 for Black, White, Hispanic, and Asian women reached 96.7% (95% CI = 88.1% to 106.1%), 92.9% (95% CI = 82.9% to 104.0%), 72.7% (95% CI = 56.5% to 93.6%), and 51.3% (95% CI = 39.7% to 66.2%) of July 2019 pre-pandemic volume, respectively.
CONCLUSION: Despite a strong overall rebound in mammography volume by July 2020, the rebound lagged among Asian and Hispanic women and a substantial cumulative deficit in missed mammograms accumulated, which may have important health consequences.