Edinburgh trial of screening for breast cancer: mortality at seven years

A. Huggins, B. B. Muir, P. T. Donnan, W. Hepburn, R. J. Prescott, T. A. Anderson, J. Lamb, F. E. Alexander, U. Chetty, Patrick Forrest, A. E. Kirkpatrick

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372 Citations (Scopus)


Between 1979 and 1981, 45130 women in Edinburgh aged 45-64 were entered into a randomised trial of breast cancer screening by mammography and clinical examination. The initial attendance rate was 61% but this varied according to age and socioeconomic status and decreased over succeeding years. The cancer detection rate was 6·2 per 1000 women attending at the first visit; the rate fell to around 3 per 1000 in the years when mammography was routinely repeated and to around 1 per 1000 at the intervening visits with clinical examination alone as the screening method. After 7 years of follow-up the mortality reduction achieved was 17% (relative risk=0·83, 95% Cl 0·58-1·18), which was not statistically significant, even when corrected for socioeconomic status. In women aged 50 years and over a mortality reduction of 20% was achieved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-246
Number of pages6
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number8684
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 1990


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