Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt revealed 450,000 women aged 68 to 71 had failed to get invitations since 2009.
Between 130 and 270 women are thought to have had their lives cut short by the error which was caused by “administrative incompetency”.
Medical chiefs said they were “shocked” by the mistake and said the implications for GPs could be “significant”.
Of the 450,000 women affected, just 309,000 are still alive.
SCANDAL: 270 women are thought to have had their lives cut short by the NHS IT error
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Mr Hunt apologised to the families yesterday as he announced an independent review.
He said: “A serious failure has come to light regarding the national breast cancer screening programme in England.
“At this stage its unclear if any delay has resulted in avoidable harm or death.
“Our best estimate is that 130 to 270 womens lives may have been shortened as a result.