Women with poor mental health are less likely to have mammograms as part of the national screening programme for breast cancer, according to new US research.
Findings from the five year study of more than 190,000 women 40 and over shows that women with mild depression have similar mammogram rates to women in the general population but as the degree of depression increase the likelihood of screening decreases.
Women with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia are shownto be significantly less likely to attend for a mammogram as are women with substance abuse disorders, the study adds.
The researchers conclude that women with severe mental illness, psychotic and substance abuse disorders should be targeted to ensure that they have regular mammography.
Journal of General Internal Medicine (2006) 21: 10, 1097-1104