(HealthDay News) — Recommendations issued in 2009 by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) may lead to missed cancers for women in their 40s and a decrease in mammography screening, according to two studies presented at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, held from Nov. 25 to 30 in Chicago.

Brittany Zadek, M.D., Ph.D., from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, N.Y., and colleagues conducted a cross-sectional retrospective study of all 43,351 screening mammograms performed at a single institution between 2007 and 2010 to assess the impact of changes in USPSTF recommendations on patients in their 40s. During the study period, the researchers found that 205 cancers were detected (rate, 4.7/1,000 mammograms). Patients in their 40s accounted for 33.5 percent of the population screened and 19 percent of cancers found. More than 50 percent of the screen-detected cancers in women in their 40s were invasive.

Using data from the Medicare Part B Physician/Supplier Procedure Summary Master Files for 2005 to 2010, David Levin, M.D., from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues examined how the 2009 changes in USPSTF recommendations have influenced the use of screening mammography in the Medicare population. The researchers found that, per 1,000 female Medicare beneficiaries, the screening mammography rate was 311.6 in 2005, 312.4 in 2006, 316.2 in 2007, 320.1 in 2008, and 322.9 in 2009, representing a compound annual growth rate of 0.9 percent. In 2010, the rate decreased to 309.1, representing a 4.3 percent decline.

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“We need to continue to follow these numbers and to watch the breast cancer mortality statistics,” Levin said in a statement.

An author from the second study disclosed financial ties to an outpatient imaging facility.

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