Background Breast screening uptake is lower in London than other areas of England. Knowledge of cancer screening programmes varies between ethnic groups, and previous studies have shown variation in uptake between broad ethnic groups. This study aimed to determine whether breast cancer screening uptake varies between 16 ethnic groups in London.
Methods Information on women resident in London who were sent a breast cancer screening invitation between 31/03/2006 and 31/12/2009 was obtained from the London Quality Assurance Reference Centre. Women aged 50–52 who had a first call invitation (a first invitation to the national screening programme) in this period, and women aged 50–69 who had a routine recall invitation (after previously having a mammography as part of the screening programme) were analysed. Where ethnicity was not known, multiple imputation was used. First call and routine recall data were analysed separately. Screening uptake in different ethnic groups was assessed using logistic regression, and adjusted for age at invitation, socioeconomic deprivation and screening area. Data for the six individual screening areas were also analysed separately.
Results Data on 159,078 women were included in the first call analysis, and on 496,438 women in the routine recall analysis. Ethnicity information was available for 475,478 (72.5%) of these women. Compared with White British women, all other ethnic groups were less likely to attend their first call screening invitation. White British women were also most likely to attend for routine recall screening sessions. Some screening areas showed less variation, with women from several ethnic groups having similar screening uptake to White British women.
Conclusion Breast cancer screening attendance varies by ethnic group for both the first invitation and for subsequent invitations after previously being screened, with White British women more likely to attend. Collaboration between areas to find successful practices for engaging with different communities should improve breast cancer screening uptake.
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