Screening Mammography Use in Medicare Beneficiaries Reflects 4-Year Mortality Risk
Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC, USA. The American journal of medicine
(Impact Factor: 5).
04/2011; 124(4):369.e1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.amjmed.2010.11.019
Breast cancer screening guidelines recommend that women and physicians consider life expectancy when making screening decisions in older women. However, prior studies suggest that screening mammography patterns are dependent on age rather than health status or mortality risk of women. Our objective is to determine the association between 4-year mortality risk and use of screening mammography in women aged ≥ 65 years using Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey data.
The primary predictor variable is 4-year mortality risk derived from a published and validated prognostic index with 4 strata of increasing probability of death in 4 years (risk groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 with 4%, 15%, 42%, and 64% risk of 4-year mortality, respectively). The main outcome was self-reported receipt of mammography in the last year.
There was a significant decreasing trend in the use of mammography with mortality risk groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 (62.7%, 51.5%, 36.6%, and 24%, respectively; trend test P<.001). The adjusted odds of mammography use were greatest in the low mortality risk group and show a gradual decline with increasing mortality risk for risk groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 (odds ratio [confidence interval]): 1.00; 0.69 [0.53-0.90]; 0.37 [0.27-0.49], and 0.22 [0.13-0.36], respectively.
Screening mammography use in older Medicare beneficiaries seems to reflect their 4-year risk of mortality rather than age alone, suggesting that patients and providers consider prognosis in screening decisions. Prospective studies are needed to explore the use of the prognostic index as a mammography screening decision tool.
Available from: Steven Clark Cunningham
- "Other ways to make the continued use of mammograms cost effective in this group of very elderly women include expanding screening intervals or selectively screening only patients with an increased risk of developing breast cancer or at decreased risk of natural-cause death in very healthy individuals. Indeed, there is evidence that physicians and patients are already making screening decisions based upon patients expected mortality in this age group: in a series of 5554 Medicare beneficiaries, use of screening mammography in older women ≥65 years old was significantly associated with their decreased 4-year risk of mortality rather than with age alone, suggesting that, when making decisions regarding screening in elderly women, patients and providers do already appropriately consider general health, prognosis, and life expectancy . "
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ABSTRACT: The proportions both of elderly patients in the world and of elderly patients with cancer are both increasing. In the evaluation of these patients, physiologic age, and not chronologic age, should be carefully considered in the decision-making process prior to both cancer screening and cancer treatment in an effort to avoid ageism. Many tools exist to help the practitioner determine the physiologic age of the patient, which allows for more appropriate and more individualized risk stratification, both in the pre- and postoperative periods as patients are evaluated for surgical treatments and monitored for surgical complications, respectively. During and after operations in the oncogeriatric populations, physiologic changes occuring that accompany aging include impaired stress response, increased senescence, and decreased immunity, all three of which impact the risk/benefit ratio associated with cancer surgery in the elderly.
Available from: Alai Tan
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ABSTRACT: Most studies use age as a cutoff to evaluate screening mammography utilization, generally examining screening up to age 75 years (the age-cutoff method). However, many experts and guidelines encourage clinicians to consider patient health and/or life expectancy.
To compare the accuracy of estimating screening mammography utilization in older women using the age-cutoff method versus using a method based on the projected life expectancy.
Two cohorts were selected from female Medicare beneficiaries aged 67-90 years living in Texas in 2001 and 2006. The 2001 cohort (n=716,279) was used to generate life-expectancy estimates by age and comorbidity, which were then applied to the 2006 cohort (n=697,825). Screening mammography utilization during 2006-2007 was measured for the 2006 cohort. Data were collected in 2000-2007 and analyzed in 2011.
The screening rate was 52.7% in women aged 67-74 years based on age alone, compared to 53.5% in women in the same age group with a life expectancy of ≥7 years. A large proportion (63.4%) of women aged 75-90 years (n=370,583) had a life expectancy of ≥7 years. Those women had a screening rate of 42.7%. The screening rate was 35.7% in women aged 75-90 years based on age alone, compared to 16.3% in women in the same age group with a life expectancy of <5 years.
Estimating screening mammography utilization among older women can be improved by using projected life expectancy rather than the age-cutoff method.
Available from: Erica Breslau
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ABSTRACT: To examine receipt of mammography screening according to life expectancy in women aged 75 and older. Population-based survey. United States. Community dwelling U.S. women aged 75 and older who participated in the 2008 or 2010 National Health Interview Survey. Using a previously developed and validated index, women were categorized according to life expectancy (>9, 5–9, <5 years). Receipt of mammography screening in the past 2 years was examined according to life expectancy, adjusting for sociodemographic characteristics, access to care, preventive orientation (e.g., receipt of influenza vaccination), and receipt of a clinician recommendation for screening. Of 2,266 respondents, 27.1% had a life expectancy of greater than 9 years, 53.4% had a life expectancy of 5 to 9 years, and 19.5% had a life expectancy of less than 5 years. Overall, 55.7% reported receiving mammography screening in the past 2 years. Life expectancy was strongly associated with receipt of screening (P < .001), yet 36.1% of women with less than 5 years life expectancy were screened, and 29.2% of women with more than 9 years life expectancy were not screened. A clinician recommendation for screening was the strongest predictor of screening independent of life expectancy. Higher educational attainment, age, receipt of influenza vaccination, and history of benign breast biopsy were also independently associated with being screened. Despite uncertainty of benefit, many women aged 75 and older are screened with mammography. Life expectancy is strongly associated with receipt of screening, which may reflect clinicians and patients appropriately considering life expectancy in screening decisions, but 36% of women with short life expectancies are still screened, suggesting that new interventions are needed to further improve targeting of screening according to life expectancy. Decision aids and guidelines encouraging clinicians to consider patient life expectancy in screening decisions may improve care.
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