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March 1, 1995

Mammographic Screening in Women Younger Than 50 Years

JAMA. 1995;273(9):701-702. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520330031028

To the Editor.  JAMA's 500-word limit for Letters to the Editor is insufficient to address the incomplete understanding of the breast cancer screening trials that has characterized recent analyses of the data and the recent Editorial by Drs Davis and Love.1The authors stated "mammographic screening in women under 50 years of age does not reduce deaths." This is simply not true. They based their conclusions about screening on a meta-analysis that used outdated information. The Gothenburg trial2 recently revealed a 40% decrease in breast cancer deaths for screened women aged 40 to 49 years whose cancers were detected in their 40s and not, as some have suggested, because they had reached the magical age of 50 years. The preliminary results of a new meta-analysis of the seven trials with similar design demonstrate a statistically significant mortality reduction (at the 95% confidence level using a two-tailed

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