IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Determinants of the demand for breast cancer screening among women veterans in the United States


  • Lairson, David R.
  • Chan, Wenyaw
  • Newmark, Georgina R.


Demand theory has been applied to use of breast exams for cancer prevention, but not since widespread promotion of mammography screening and managed care. Previous economic analyses may be biased due to inclusion of diagnostic exams and generally fail to consider perceived risk and time costs. The objective was to identify and measure the effect of economic, demographic, and behavioral factors that influence the use of mammography screening among US women veterans aged 50 years and older. Data are from a 2000-2001 national mail survey with telephone follow-up of a random sample of women veterans. There were a maximum of 3415 respondents aged 50 and over with no history of breast cancer. Maximum likelihood probit models were used to estimate the effects of the independent variables on the probability that a woman will have had a mammogram in the past year. Education, income, insurance, and perceived risk of breast cancer are directly related to use of mammography screening. Age, smoking, travel and waiting time are inversely related to the likelihood of mammography screening. Mammography use among women veterans is generally consistent with the theory of the demand for health and medical care, and also consistent with previous national studies on the demand for breast exams. Findings highlight the role of perceived risk and non-price barriers to mammography use in the context of widespread insurance coverage for mammography screening.

Suggested Citation

  • Lairson, David R. & Chan, Wenyaw & Newmark, Georgina R., 2005. "Determinants of the demand for breast cancer screening among women veterans in the United States," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 61(7), pages 1608-1617, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:7:p:1608-1617

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1990:80:11:1323-1329_9 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Chang, Fwu-Ranq, 1996. "Uncertainty and investment in health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3), pages 369-376, June.
    3. Cropper, M L, 1977. "Health, Investment in Health, and Occupational Choice," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(6), pages 1273-1294, December.
    4. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:1:50-55_3 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Acton, Jan Paul, 1975. "Nonmonetary Factors in the Demand for Medical Services: Some Empirical Evidence," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(3), pages 595-614, June.
    6. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1994:84:4:571-574_2 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, pages 287-305.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1990:80:11:1386-1388_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Dardanoni, Valentino & Wagstaff, Adam, 1990. "Uncertainty and the demand for medical care," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 23-38, June.
    10. Gabriel Picone & Frank Sloan & Donald Taylor, 2004. "Effects of Risk and Time Preference and Expected Longevity on Demand for Medical Tests," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 28(1), pages 39-53, January.
    11. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-255, March-Apr.
    12. Rosanna M. Coffey, 1983. "The Effect of Time Price on the Demand for Medical-Care Services," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(3), pages 407-424.
    13. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1989:79:1:21-26_0 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Victor R. Fuchs, 1982. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Chapters,in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 93-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Muurinen, Jaana-Marja, 1982. "Demand for health: A generalised Grossman model," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 5-28, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Ansgar Wübker, 2014. "Explaining variations in breast cancer screening across European countries," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 15(5), pages 497-514, June.
    2. Vicenzo Carrieri & Marcel Bilger, 2009. "Preventive care: underused even when free. A tale from Italy," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 2009.02, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    3. Ansgar Wübker, 2012. "Explaining Variations in Breast Cancer Screening Across European Countries," Ruhr Economic Papers 0370, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    4. Carrieri, Vincenzo & Wuebker, Ansgar, 2013. "Assessing inequalities in preventive care use in Europe," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 247-257.
    5. Alexander Labeit & Frank Peinemann, 2015. "Breast and cervical cancer screening in Great Britain: Dynamic interrelated processes," Health Economics Review, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, December.
    6. repec:zbw:rwirep:0370 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Ritesh Banerjee & Ethan Cohen-Cole & Giulio Zanella, 2007. "Demonstration effects in preventive care," Risk and Policy Analysis Unit Working Paper QAU07-7, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
    8. Vogt, Verena & Siegel, Martin & Sundmacher, Leonie, 2014. "Examining regional variation in the use of cancer screening in Germany," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, pages 74-80.
    9. Carrieri, V. & Wuebker, A., 2012. "Assessing inequalities in preventive care use in Europe: A special case of health-care inequalities?," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 12/25, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    10. Gil Lacruz, Ana Isabel & Gil Lacruz, Marta & Gorgemans, Sophie, 2014. "Female preventive practices: Breast and smear tests," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 135-144.
    11. Vincenzo Carrieri & Ansgar Wübker, 2012. "Assessing Inequalities in Preventive Care Use in Europe," Ruhr Economic Papers 0371, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    12. repec:zbw:rwirep:0371 is not listed on IDEAS


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:61:y:2005:i:7:p:1608-1617. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.