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Open Access Research article

Factors associated with use of breast cancer screening services by women aged ≥ 40 years in Korea: The Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 (KNHANES III)

Kiheon Lee12, Hyung Taek Lim3 and Sang Min Park4*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, 166 Gumi-ro, Bundang-gu, Seongnam-si Gyeonggi-do, 463707, Korea

2 Department of the History of Medicine and Medical Humanities, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehangno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110744, Korea

3 Department of Ophthalmology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, 120752, Korea

4 Department of Family Medicine, Seoul National University Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, 101 Daehangno, Jongno-gu, Seoul, 110744, Korea

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BMC Cancer 2010, 10:144  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-144

Published: 16 April 2010

Abstract

Background

Despite evidence that breast cancer screening reduces morbidity and mortality, until recently most women have not undergone regular mammogram examinations in Korea. We aimed to identify factors associated with use of breast cancer screening services.

Methods

The Health Promotion Knowledge, Attitude and Practice survey (HP-KAP survey) is part of the Third Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2005 (KNHANES III), a nationwide health survey in Korea. Of 7,802 individuals who participated in the HP-KAP survey, 4,292 were female. Of these, 2,583 were women aged at least 40 years and without a history of breast cancer; these women were included in this study. Information about breast cancer screening participation was obtained from the responses to questionnaires. The overall rate of regular breast cancer screening was measured. Factors that affect participation in a breast cancer screening program were identified using multiple logistic regression analysis.

Results

Among women aged at least 40 years, 30.4% complied with breast screening recommendations. Age of at least 65 years (adjusted odds ratio, aOR 0.61, 95% CI: 0.42-0.88), education level (no [ref], elementary school [aOR 1.51, 95% CI: 1.06-1.47], middle/high school [aOR 1.99, 95% CI: 1.36-2.92], university/higher [aOR 2.73, 95% CI: 1.71-4.35]), private health insurance (aOR 1.42, 95% CI: 1.71-4.35), attitude towards screening tests (aOR 0.18, 95% CI: 0.14-0.23), self-reported health status of 'fair' (aOR 1.26 95% CI: 1.00-1.58), and smoking (aOR 0.52, 95% CI: 0.35-0.79) were associated with the rate of regular breast cancer screening

Conclusions

To increase the nationwide breast cancer screening rate, more attention should be given to underrepresented groups, particularly the elderly, those with a low education level, smokers, and those with a negative attitude towards screening tests. These issues highlight the need for a new emphasis in health education, promotional campaigns and public health policy aimed at these underrepresented groups.