More California Women Are Having Mammograms

More California women are having mammograms, and they are having them more
often. This trend started 15 years ago. In 1987, only 38 percent of California women
had had a mammogram during the previous two years. By 2000, the number had
risen to 79 percent.

Mammograms and California's Ethnic Groups
Whether or not a woman has mammograms regularly varies by ethnic group.
However, more women from all California ethnic groups have mammograms more
frequently now than in 1987. In the year 2000, the group with the highest
percentage of women who had a mammogram in the previous two years was African
American women, followed closely by white women.

Mammograms and Education
In the past, California women with more education were more likely to have regular
mammograms. Now the gap is narrowing.

Why Mammogram Use is Up
More California women are having mammograms because they are encouraged to do
so—by widespread public education programs, by their physicians, and by the breast
cancer awareness movement. In addition, California state government programs
provide funding for low-income women to have regular mammograms and conduct
outreach to let women know this funding is available.

How This Research Was Done
Researchers used information from telephone surveys conducted by the California
Department of Health Services in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. The surveys collect information from a random sample of
California households. The sample does not completely match the age, race and
gender composition of California, so the researchers adjusted the percentages to
more accurately reflect the state's population. Information in this section comes from
Chapter 7 of Breast Cancer in California, 2003, “Utilization of Screening
Mammography in California, 1987–2000,” by Holly Hoegh, Ph.D., and Bonnie D. Davis,

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