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The Role of Social Determinants of Health in Self-Reported Access to Health Care Among Women Undergoing Screening Mammography



Social determinants of health (SDOH) contribute to health care disparities, with social and economic barriers often leading to difficulties in obtaining necessary care. We evaluated barriers to receiving health care, focusing on caretaker responsibilities, health insurance and cost, and transportation.


We included women ages ≥40 years receiving screening mammography across three Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium registries from 2012 to 2017. Women self-reported social and financial barriers to receiving health care in the 12 months before their screening mammogram. We evaluated woman- and census-based community-level factors associated with reporting a barrier using multivariate logistic regression. We assessed interaction with urban versus nonurban residence using Wald tests.


Among 393,430 women, 3.6% reported a barrier with a higher proportion in urban versus nonurban settings (3.9% [n = 11,977] vs. 2.2% [n = 1,655], respectively; p < 0.001). Among women reporting a barrier, health care cost and/or no insurance was the most common (49.3%), and no transportation was the least common (7.8%). Compared with white women, odds of reporting barriers were higher among black (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 1.30, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.16-1.44), Hispanic (aOR = 1.66, 95% CI: 1.53-1.80), and other race (aOR = 1.84, 95% CI: 1.65-2.04) women. Barriers were less likely in women with higher median household income (aOR = 0.69, 95% CI: 0.61-0.79) or higher average health insurance costs (aOR = 0.85, 95% CI: 0.74-0.98), but were more likely in high diversity index areas (aOR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.11-1.48).


Social and financial barriers exist based on race/ethnicity and SDOH related to income, insurance costs, and place of residence among women undergoing screening mammography. Breast imaging facilities could utilize information on these barriers to improve biennial screening adherence or ensure that women with abnormal findings obtain appropriate follow-up care through targeted interventions.

To read more, see the following article on the PubMed website: PMID: 32366199