Intended for healthcare professionals


Breast screening

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 20 March 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:809

No need to reconsider breast screening programme on basis of results from defective study

  1. Måns Rosén, Director.,
  2. Nina Rehnqvist, Deputy director general.
  1. Centre for Epidemiology, National Board of Health and Welfare, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. Department of Surgery, Institute of Surgical Studies, University College London Medical School, Charles Bell House, London W1P 7LD

    EDITOR—In a recent news article Mayor discusses a study whose results question the mammography screening recommendations of the National Board of Health and Welfare in Sweden.1

    The Swedish study to which the article refers has many methodological limitations and fallacies and should not be considered seriously.2 Varying trends in the incidence of breast cancer among the county councils influence mortality trends, which was not taken into account by Sjönell and Ståhle. Furthermore, they could not distinguish between the effects of the screening programme and those of “opportunistic screening.” They did not take account of the fact that the programmes started at different times in the county …

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