Women require information about the impact of regularly attending screening mammography on breast cancer mortality and overdiagnosis to make informed decisions. To provide this information we aimed to meta-analyse randomised controlled trials adjusted for adherence to the trial protocol.
Nine screening mammography trials used in the Independent UK Breast Screening Report were selected. Extending an existing approach to adjust intention-to-treat (ITT) estimates for less than 100% adherence rates, we conducted a random-effects meta-analysis. This produced a combined deattenuated prevented fraction and a combined deattenuated percentage risk of overdiagnosis.
In women aged 39-75 years invited to screen, the prevented fraction of breast cancer mortality at 13-year follow-up was 0.22 (95% CI 0.15-0.28) and it increased to 0.30 (95% CI 0.18-0.42) with deattenuation. In women aged 40-69 years invited to screen, the ITT percentage risk of overdiagnosis during the screening period was 19.0% (95% CI 15.2-22.7%), deattenuation increased this to 29.7% (95% CI 17.8-41.5%).
Adjustment for nonadherence increased the size of the mortality benefit and risk of overdiagnosis by up to 50%. These estimates are more appropriate when developing quantitative information to support individual decisions about attending screening mammography
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul_glasziou/192/