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18 April 2006 Annals of Internal Medicine Tip Sheet

Annals of Internal Medicine is published by the American College of Physicians. These highlights are not intended to substitute for articles as sources of information. For an embargoed copy of an article, call 1-800-523-1546, ext. 2656, or 215-351-2656.

1. Two Articles and Editorial on Ethnic Differences in Mammography Screening

(Guidelines, p. 575. Background review papers, p. 581 and p. 596. Separate news release will be issued.)

2. Two Articles and Editorial on Ethnic Differences in Mammography Screening

Racial and ethnic differences in mammography screening rates and in death from breast cancer exist in the United States. See below.

a. Non-white Women Receive Fewer Mammography Screenings than Whites; African-American Women Have More Aggressive Tumors at Diagnosis

A new study of more than one million women looked at relationships between racial and ethnic backgrounds, screening rates, and severity of breast cancer tumors (Article, p. 541). Nearly 17,500 women were diagnosed with breast cancer during the study period. Researchers found that African-American women received the fewest mammography screenings. White women received the most. White women were more likely than the other groups to be "adequately screened." African-American and Hispanic women were more likely than white women to be diagnosed with advanced-stage tumors and high-grade tumors. Both advanced-stage and high grade tumors are important predictors of breast cancer survival. When the authors compared women with similar screening rates, women of different racial and ethnic backgrounds had the same frequency of advanced stage cancer. However, the frequency of high-grade cancer remained elevated in African-American women with screening rates similar to white women. Screening rates and intrinsic properties of the cancer are both involved in explaining different rates of advanced stage breast cancer in African-American women.

NOTE TO EDITORS: This article is the subject of a video news release. Call for coordinates.

b. Telephone Reminders Increase Cancer Screening Rates among Low-Income Women

A system of telephone reminders to get appropriate screening tests for several cancers successfully increased screening rates for minority and low-income women in community and migrant health centers during an 18-month study (Article, p. 563).

c. Editorial Writer Says that the Time is Ripe to Close Racial, Ethnic and Income Health Disparities

(Editorial, p. 444).

3. Green Tea - but not Black or Oolong Tea -- and Total Caffeine Consumption Linked to Reduced Risk for Type 2 Diabetes in Japanese Study

A study of nearly 17,000 Japanese adults found that those who drank more than six cups of green tea per day or three cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop diabetes than those who drank less than one cup of these beverages per week (Article, p. 554). Higher total caffeine intake was also associated with lower risk for diabetes. Black and oolong teas showed no association with reduced risk for diabetes.

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