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Racial/Ethnic, Educational Barriers ID'd for DBT Screening Access

TUESDAY, March 9, 2021 -- Women of minority race/ethnicity have lower access to and use of digital breast tomosynthesis (DBT), according to a study published online Feb. 19 in JAMA Network Open.

Christoph I. Lee, M.D., from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional study involving 92 geographically diverse imaging facilities across five U.S. states where 2,313,118 screening examinations were performed among women aged 40 to 89 years from Jan. 1, 2011, to Dec. 31, 2017.

The researchers found that from 2011 to 2017, there was an increase in the proportion of women who had DBT access at the time of their screening appointment, from 3.3 to 82.6 percent. In 2012, significantly less DBT access was seen for Black, Asian American, and Hispanic women compared with White women (relative risks, 0.05, 0.28, and 0.38, respectively); compared with college graduates, women with less than a high school education had lower DBT access (relative risk, 0.18). For women attending facilities with both digital mammography and DBT available, lower use of DBT was seen for Black versus White women, women with a lower educational level, and women in the lowest versus the highest income quartile.

"Radiology practices and policy makers should be cognizant of these screening access and use differences, and future efforts should address racial/ethnic, educational, financial, and geographic barriers to obtaining DBT screening at the facility level," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to industry, including GRAIL Inc.

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