Addressing a Measurement Gap by Linking State All-Payer Claims Database with State Cancer Registry Data

March / April 2024

Contact: Ami Vyas, PhD, MS, MBA



A limitation of the central cancer registries to examine associations between mammography use and cancer diagnosis is their lack of cancer screening history. To fill this measurement gap, Rhode Island Cancer Registry (RICR) breast cancer (BC) records were linked to Rhode Island-all-payer claims database (RI-APCD) to study Rhode Island (RI) women's regular mammography use and identify its predictors.


From the linked 2011-2019 data, we identified 4 study cohorts: (1) women who ever received mammography by Women's Cancer Screening Program (WCSP) and were diagnosed with BC (“WCSP-BC” cohort: n = 149), (2) women diagnosed with BC outside of WCSP (BC-control cohort: n = 4304), (3) women with a history of mammography use at WCSP but no BC diagnosis (n = 6513), and (4) general RI women with no BC diagnosis (n = 15 121). Logistic regressions were conducted to identify predictors of regular mammography use.


The linkage for RI-APCD and RICR for our study had a high matching rate of 82%. Mammography use prior to BC diagnosis was not different between the WCSP-BC cohort and the BC-control cohort (58% vs 57%). Women in the BC-control cohort who had mammography in 2 years prior to their cancer diagnosis were more likely of being diagnosed at an early-stage disease. Among BC-control group, women with no anxiety/depression or with no preventive examinations were less likely of regular mammography use. Among women with no BC, a lower proportion of women with a history of screening at WCSP had regular mammography use, compared with the general RI women (38% vs 66%).


RI-APCD data linkage with RICR provides excellent opportunities to examine regular mammography use among RI women and compare their outcomes to the general women population in the state. We identified opportunities for improving their mammography use. A measurement gap in the central cancer registries can be effectively reduced by utilizing statewide claims database.

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