Geographic Disparities in Mammography Capacity in the South: A Longitudinal Assessment of Supply and Demand

Authors

  • Jan M. Eberth,

    Corresponding author
    1. South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC
    • Address correspondence to Jan Marie Eberth, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, South Carolina Cancer Prevention and Control Program, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene St., Room 234, Columbia, SC 29208; e-mail: jmeberth@mailbox.sc.edu.

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  • Karl Eschbach,

    1. Division of Geriatric Medicine, Departments of Internal and Preventive Medicine and Community Health, University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX
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  • Jeffrey S. Morris,

    1. Department of Biostatistics, Division of Quantitative Sciences, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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  • Hoang T. Nguyen,

    1. Department of Health Services Research, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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  • Md Monir Hossain,

    1. Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH
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  • Linda S. Elting

    1. Department of Health Services Research, Division of Cancer Prevention and Population Sciences, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
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Abstract

Objective

Studies have shown that there is sufficient availability of mammography; however, little is known about geographic variation in capacity. The purpose of this study was to determine the locations and extent of over/undersupply of mammography in 14 southern states from 2002 to 2008.

Data Sources

Mammography facility data were collected from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Population estimates, used to estimate the potential demand for mammography, were obtained from GeoLytics Inc.

Study Design

Using the two-step floating catchment area method, we calculated spatial accessibility at the block group level and categorized the resulting index to represent the extent of under/oversupply relative to the potential demand.

Principal Findings

Results show decreasing availability of mammography over time. The extent of over/undersupply varied significantly across the South. Reductions in capacity occurred primarily in areas with an oversupply of machines, resulting in a 68 percent decrease in the percent of women living in excess capacity areas from 2002 to 2008. The percent of women living in poor capacity areas rose by 10 percent from 2002 to 2008.

Conclusions

Our study found decreasing mammography availability and capacity over time, with substantial variation across states. This information can assist providers and policy makers in their business planning and resource allocation decisions.

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