UVM research shows unintended consequence of revised mammography guidelines: Fewer women in most at-risk age group screened
Vermont Business Magazine In 2009, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force changed its mammography screening guidelines to recommend that routine breast cancer screening start at age 50 rather than age 40, recommending an individualized approach for women ages 40-49. The group cited insufficient evidence for screening women ages 75 and older. Researchers at the UVM Cancer Center, Sarah Nowak, PhD, and Brian Sprague, PhD, found that the change in guidelines led to a decline in mammography screening rates for all three age groups, including in the 50-74 group most at risk of developing breast cancer and most in need of screenings, an unintended consequence. The researchers coined the the term "spillover" for this effect. Vermont had the second steepest drop of any state for all three groups.