Obesity is increasing in American women, but the influence of this on the accuracy of screening mammography is not clear.
A team from the United States analyzed 100,622 screening mammography examinations performed on members of a nonprofit health plan.
They evaluated the relationship between body mass index and measures of screening accuracy.
The team categorized body mass index as underweight or normal weight, overweight, obesity class I, and obesity classes II to III.
|Obese women were more likely to be recalled for additional tests.|
|Archives of Internal Medicine|
The researchers found that when compared with underweight or normal weight women, overweight and obese women were more likely to be recalled for additional tests.
Furthermore, as body mass index increased women were more likely to have lower specificity.
The team did not find any statistically significant differences in sensitivity.
Adjusted receiver operating characteristic analysis showed statistically significant improvement in the area under the curve for underweight or normal weight women versus overweight women. There were also statistically significant differences between underweight or normal weight women versus obesity classes II and III women.
Dr Joann Elmore and colleagues concluded, "Obese women had more than a 20% increased risk of having false-positive mammography results compared with underweight and normal weight women, although sensitivity was unchanged".
"Achieving a normal weight may improve screening mammography performance".