Changes in Mammography Use by Women's Characteristics During the First 5 Months of the COVID-19 Pandemic

Brian L. Sprague, Kathryn P. Lowry, Diana L. Miglioretti, Nila Alsheik, Erin J.A. Bowles, Anna N.A. Tosteson, Garth Rauscher, Sally D. Herschorn, Janie M. Lee, Amy Trentham-Dietz, Donald L. Weaver, Natasha K. Stout, Karla Kerlikowske

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


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 prepandemic levels and whether use 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 and 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 the April 2019 prepandemic volumes, respectively, but by July 2020 had rebounded to 89.7% (95% CI = 79.6% to 101.1%) and 101.6% (95% CI = 93.8% to 110.1%) of the July 2019 prepandemic 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 the July 2019 prepandemic volume, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1161-1167
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the National Cancer Institute
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 4 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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