Although this topic is not directly related to public health preparedness, it is interesting that the justification for the new recommendations includes the results of six mathematical models. The modeling is discussed in Effects of Mammography Screening Under Different Screening Schedules: Model Estimates of Potential Benefits and Harms by Mandelblatt et al. (This article also cites the articles describing the details of each model.)
The mathematical models are similar and all estimate the impact of different screening strategies. The benefits are measured in life-years gained because of averted or delayed breast cancer death due to a screening strategy; the harms include false-positive mammograms, unnecessary biopsies, and overdiagnosis.
Mandelblatt et al. examined 20 different strategies and identified eight “non-dominated” strategies – that is, for each of these eight, there was no other strategy that gave more benefits with fewer overall mammograms. Among these eight, there is a tradeoff: more benefits will necessarily require more mammograms.
The models also estimate that false-positives occur more often in those strategies that include screening for women between the ages of 40 to 49 years.