Diabetic women less likely to undergo mammograms, Mayo Clinic researchers report

December 24, 2001

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- Mayo Clinic researchers have found that women with diabetes were significantly less likely to undergo screening for breast cancer by mammography than patients in a control group.

The findings of the study, published in the December issue of Diabetes Care, are consistent with previous investigations showing reduced utilization of health care services by patients with chronic diseases, including diabetes.

The reasons that women with diabetes experience lower rates of cancer screening are not entirely clear, however, the researchers write that they strongly suspect it is related to the added burdens associated with caring for patients with diabetes or that patients with diabetes may find that managing their diabetes demands so much of their attention and resources that they are unwilling to contemplate cancer prevention.

A total of 424 women with diabetes aged 50-75 years were matched with control subjects without diabetes. Analysis of the results showed lower rates of mammograms among the diabetes patients than the control subjects (78.1 percent vs. 84.9 percent).

Researchers said there could be reasons related both to the physicians and to the patients as to why the incidence of mammography was lower with diabetic women. It deserves further study.

"Considering the increasing incidence of diabetes and the equal incidence of malignancy in women with and without diabetes, it would be beneficial to improve breast cancer screening in this population," said Robert M. Cuddihy, M.D., Mayo Clinic endocrinologist and one of the studyÕs authors.
Sara Bakken
Mayo Clinic External Relations
507-284-5005 (days)
507-284-2511 (evenings)
email: newsbureau@mayo.edu

Mayo Clinic

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