We evaluated differences in diagnostic mammography performance based on women's race/ethnicity.


This cohort study included 267,868 diagnostic mammograms performed to evaluate screening mammogram findings at 98 facilities in the Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium between 2005 and 2017. Mammogram assessments were recorded prospectively and breast cancers occurring within one year were ascertained. Performance statistics were calculated with 95% confidence intervals (CI) for each racial/ethnic group. Multivariable regression was used to control for personal characteristics and imaging facility.


Among non-Hispanic White (70%), non-Hispanic Black (13%), Asian/Pacific Islander (10%), and Hispanic (7%) women, the invasive cancer detection rate (iCDR, per 1,000 mammograms) and positive predictive value (PPV2) were highest among non-Hispanic White women (iCDR, 35.8; 95% CI, 35.0–36.7; PPV2, 27.8; 95% CI, 27.3–28.3) and lowest among Hispanic women (iCDR, 22.3; 95% CI, 20.2–24.6; PPV2, 19.4; 95% CI, 18.0–20.9). Short interval follow-up recommendations were most common among non-Hispanic Black women [(31.0%; 95% CI, 30.6%–31.5%) vs. other groups, range, 16.6%–23.6%]. False-positive biopsy recommendations were most common among Asian/Pacific Islander women [per 1,000 mammograms: 169.2; 95% CI, 164.8–173.7) vs. other groups, range, 126.5–136.1]. Some differences were explained by adjusting for receipt of diagnostic ultrasound or MRI for iCDR and imaging facility for short-interval follow-up. Other differences changed little after adjustment.


Diagnostic mammography performance varied across racial/ethnic groups. Addressing characteristics related to imaging facility and access, rather than personal characteristics, may help reduce some of these disparities.


Diagnostic mammography performance studies should include racially and ethnically diverse populations to provide an accurate view of the population-level effects.

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