Measuring height and weight as part of routine mammographic screening for breast cancer

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Objectives Body mass index is a strong predictor of post-menopausal breast cancer risk and (negatively) confounds the association between mammographic breast density and breast cancer risk; however, height and weight are not typically measured as part of routine mammographic screening. This study piloted voluntary height and weight measurement within the BreastScreen Western Australia (WA) programme, and assessed trial participation. Methods From February 2016 to January 2018, 204,429 women attending BreastScreen WA were invited to have their height and weight measured and recorded as part of their routine screening mammogram. Descriptive data analysis was used to assess pilot participation rates by available screening data. Results Of the 204,429 patients who attended BreastScreen WA during the pilot, 76.35% (156,072) agreed to have their height and weight measured. Pilot participation rates were significantly lower in those patients with disabilities (RR: 0.626; 95% CI: 0.600, 0.653), those who spoke a language other than English at home (RR: 0.876; 95% CI: 0.867, 0.885), and those who identified as Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (RR: 0.829; 95% CI: 0.807, 0.852). Pilot participation decreased over time from 88.9% in the first three months to 55.5% in the last month, due to lessening of support from BreastScreen staff. Conclusion Measuring height and weight at the time of routine mammographic screening is feasible, although logistical issues, particularly the added time/effort required of support staff, should be considered. BreastScreen WA has since decided to collect voluntary self-reported height and weight data as routine screening policy.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Screening
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jul 2019


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