We evaluated differences in yearly mammogram screening by smoking status in a sample of US women. We also examined differences in mammogram screening by race/ethnicity, age, and health care coverage.
Data were from 1884 women participants in the 2018 Health of Houston Survey study. Binary logistic regression was used to assess the association between smoking status (current/former/non-smokers) and mammograms within 12 months. Moderators included race/ethnicity (Hispanic, Black, Asian, Other, White), age, and health care coverage
In comparison to women who were non-smokers, current and former smokers showed lower odds to get a yearly mammogram (OR = 0.720; 95% CI = 0.709, 0.730 and OR = 0.702; 95% CI = 0.693, 0.710, respectively). Current smokers who identified as Hispanic or Black women and former smokers who identified as Hispanic, Asian, and other women showed lower odds of getting a mammogram (OR = 0.635, 95% CI = 0.611, 0.659; OR = 0.951, 95% CI = 0.919, 0.985) and (OR = 0.663, 95% CI = 0.642, 0.684; OR = 0.282, 95% CI = 0.263, 0.302; OR = 0.548, 95% CI = 0.496, 0.606) compared to White women. There were significant interactions by age and health care coverage.
Women of color who are current and former smokers showed lower odds to engage in mammogram screening, thus increasing their risk of undiagnosed breast cancer when compared to non-smokers. Ethnically diverse women already experience increased health disparities and smoking puts them at exacerbated risk of health complications and death.
Our findings suggest that smoking status is a modifiable behavioral risk factor that requires further attention in the prevention of breast cancer in ethnic minority women. Health care institutions and policymakers need to increase their awareness of and outreach efforts to women of color who smoke. These outreach efforts should focus on increasing access to smoking interventions and cancer screenings.