Study: Elderly Women With Dementia Subjected to Unneeded Mammograms

A U.C. San Francisco study published last week in the American Journal of Public Health counter-intuitively posits two fascinating conclusions.

A survey of thousands of women nationwide indicates that, among elderly women with dementia, the percentage receiving a screening mammogram more than doubles when the women are married and well-off. That people with someone to care for them and money in the bank receive more health treatment than the poor, lonely, and helpless shouldn't come as a surprise. But the UCSF study's second claim may: More treatment is not a good thing.

The study's lead author, Dr. Kala Mehta, told SF Weekly that for women aged 70 or more and suffering from dementia, a screening mammogram will likely do more harm than good.

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