Cancer Causes & Control

, Volume 30, Issue 10, pp 1045–1055 | Cite as

US urban–rural disparities in breast cancer-screening practices at the national, regional, and state level, 2012–2016

  • Lam TranEmail author
  • Phoebe Tran
Original Paper



Previous studies suggesting that rural US women may be less likely to have a recent mammogram than urban women are limited in either scope or granularity. This study explored urban–rural disparities in US breast cancer-screening practices at the national, regional, and state levels.


We used data from the 2012, 2014, and 2016 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Systems surveys. Logistic models were utilized to examine the impact of living in an urban/rural area on mammogram screening at three geographic levels while adjusting for covariates. We then calculated average adjusted predictions (AAPs) and average marginal effects (AMEs) to isolate the association between breast cancer screening and the urban/rural factor.


At all geographic levels, AAPs of breast cancer screening were similar among urban, suburban, and rural residents. Regarding “ever having a mammogram” and “having a recent mammogram,” urban women had small but significantly higher adjusted probabilities (AAP: 94.6%, 81.1%) compared to rural women (AAP: 93.5%, 80.2%).


While urban–rural differences in breast cancer screening are small, they can translate into tens of thousands of rural women not receiving mammograms. Hence, there is a need to continue screening initiatives in these areas to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths.


Breast cancer screening Mammogram Average adjusted predictions Average marginal effects Urban–rural disparity 





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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of BiostatisticsUniversity of Michigan School of Public HealthAnn ArborUSA
  2. 2.Department of Chronic Disease EpidemiologyYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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