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Individual and Neighborhood Socioeconomic Status and Healthcare Resources in Relation to Black-White Breast Cancer Survival Disparities

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      Background. Breast cancer survival has improved significantly in the US in the past 10–15 years. However, disparities exist in breast cancer survival between black and white women. Purpose. To investigate the effect of county healthcare resources and SES as well as individual SES status on breast cancer survival disparities between black and white women. Methods. Data from 1,796 breast cancer cases were obtained from the Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results and the National Longitudinal Mortality Study dataset. Cox Proportional Hazards models were constructed accounting for clustering within counties. Three sequential Cox models were fit for each outcome including demographic variables; demographic and clinical variables; and finally demographic, clinical, and county-level variables. Results. In unadjusted analysis, black women had a 53% higher likelihood of dying of breast cancer and 32% higher likelihood of dying of any cause ( P < 0.05) compared with white women. Adjusting for demographic variables explained away the effect of race on breast cancer survival (HR, 1.40; 95% CI, 0.99–1.97), but not on all-cause mortality. The racial difference in all-cause survival disappeared only after adjusting for county-level variables (HR, 1.27; CI, 0.95–1.71). Conclusions. Improving equitable access to healthcare for all women in the US may help eliminate survival disparities between racial and socioeconomic groups.

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      Constructing socio-economic status indices: how to use principal components analysis.

      Theoretically, measures of household wealth can be reflected by income, consumption or expenditure information. However, the collection of accurate income and consumption data requires extensive resources for household surveys. Given the increasingly routine application of principal components analysis (PCA) using asset data in creating socio-economic status (SES) indices, we review how PCA-based indices are constructed, how they can be used, and their validity and limitations. Specifically, issues related to choice of variables, data preparation and problems such as data clustering are addressed. Interpretation of results and methods of classifying households into SES groups are also discussed. PCA has been validated as a method to describe SES differentiation within a population. Issues related to the underlying data will affect PCA and this should be considered when generating and interpreting results.
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        Impact of socioeconomic status on cancer incidence and stage at diagnosis: selected findings from the surveillance, epidemiology, and end results: National Longitudinal Mortality Study

        Background Population-based cancer registry data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are mainly based on medical records and administrative information. Individual-level socioeconomic data are not routinely reported by cancer registries in the United States because they are not available in patient hospital records. The U.S. representative National Longitudinal Mortality Study (NLMS) data provide self-reported, detailed demographic and socioeconomic data from the Social and Economic Supplement to the Census Bureau's Current Population Survey (CPS). In 1999, the NCI initiated the SEER-NLMS study, linking the population-based SEER cancer registry data to NLMS data. The SEER-NLMS data provide a new unique research resource that is valuable for health disparity research on cancer burden. We describe the design, methods, and limitations of this data set. We also present findings on cancer-related health disparities according to individual-level socioeconomic status (SES) and demographic characteristics for all cancers combined and for cancers of the lung, breast, prostate, cervix, and melanoma. Methods Records of cancer patients diagnosed in 1973–2001 when residing 1 of 11 SEER registries were linked with 26 NLMS cohorts. The total number of SEER matched cancer patients that were also members of an NLMS cohort was 26,844. Of these 26,844 matched patients, 11,464 were included in the incidence analyses and 15,357 in the late-stage diagnosis analyses. Matched patients (used in the incidence analyses) and unmatched patients were compared by age group, sex, race, ethnicity, residence area, year of diagnosis, and cancer anatomic site. Cohort-based age-adjusted cancer incidence rates were computed. The impact of socioeconomic status on cancer incidence and stage of diagnosis was evaluated. Results Men and women with less than a high school education had elevated lung cancer rate ratios of 3.01 and 2.02, respectively, relative to their college educated counterparts. Those with family annual incomes less than $12,500 had incidence rates that were more than 1.7 times the lung cancer incidence rate of those with incomes $50,000 or higher. Lower income was also associated with a statistically significantly increased risk of distant-stage breast cancer among women and distant-stage prostate cancer among men. Conclusions Socioeconomic patterns in incidence varied for specific cancers, while such patterns for stage were generally consistent across cancers, with late-stage diagnoses being associated with lower SES. These findings illustrate the potential for analyzing disparities in cancer outcomes according to a variety of individual-level socioeconomic, demographic, and health care characteristics, as well as by area measures available in the linked database.
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          Trends in breast cancer by race and ethnicity: update 2006.

          In this article, the American Cancer Society (ACS) provides estimates of new breast cancer cases and deaths in 2006 and describes trends in incidence, mortality, and survival for female breast cancer in the United States. These estimates are based on incidence data from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the North American Association of Central Cancer Registries, which includes state data from NCI and the National Program of Cancer Registries of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and mortality data from the National Center for Health Statistics for the most recent years available (1975 to 2002). This article also shows trends in screening mammography. Approximately 212,920 new cases of invasive breast cancer, 61,980 in situ cases, and 40,970 deaths are expected to occur among US women in 2006. As previously reported, breast cancer incidence rates increased rapidly among women of all races from 1980 to 1987, a period when there was increasing uptake of mammography by a growing proportion of US women, and then continued to increase, but at a much slower rate, from 1987 to 2002. Trends in incidence vary by age, race, socioeconomic status, and stage. The continuing increase in incidence (all stages combined) is limited to White women age 50 and older; recent trends are stable for African American women age 50 and older and White women under age 50 years and are decreasing for African American women under age 50 years. Although incidence rates (all races combined) are substantially higher for women age 50 and older (375.0 per 100,000 females) compared with women younger than 50 years (42.5 per 100,000 females), approximately 23% of breast cancers are diagnosed in women younger than 50 years because those women represent 73% of the female population. For women age 35 and younger, age-specific incidence rates are slightly higher among African Americans compared with Whites but then cross over so that Whites have substantially higher incidence at all later ages. Among women of all races and ages, breast cancer mortality rates declined at an average rate of 2.3% per year between 1990 and 2002, a trend that reflects progress in both early detection and treatment. However, death rates in African American women remain 37% higher than in Whites, despite lower incidence rates. Although, in national surveys, approximately 70% of women age 40 years and older report having had a mammogram in the past 2 years, rates vary by race/ethnicity and are markedly lower among women with lower levels of education, without health insurance, and in recent immigrants. Furthermore, a recent study suggests that the true percentage of women having regular mammography is lower than reported in survey data. Encouraging patients age 40 years and older to have annual mammography and clinical breast exam is the single most important step that clinicians can take to reduce suffering and death from breast cancer. Clinicians should also ensure that patients at high risk of breast cancer are identified and offered appropriate referrals and treatment. Continued progress in the control of breast cancer will require sustained and increased efforts to provide high-quality screening, diagnosis, and treatment to all segments of the population.

            Author and article information

            1Department of Epidemiology, Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, New York, NY 10032, USA
            2Department of Epidemiology, College of Public Health, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198, USA
            3U.S. Census Bureau-National Longitudinal Mortality Survey, 4700 Silver Hill Rd., Suitland, MD 20746, USA
            4Cancer Statistics Branch, Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA
            5Center for Statistical Consulting and Research, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            6Department of Biostatistics, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            7Department of Family Medicine and Public Health Sciences and Barbara Ann Karmanos Institute, Wayne State University School of Medicine, Detroit, MI 48201, USA
            8Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            9University of Michigan Center for Global Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
            Author notes
            *Tomi F. Akinyemiju: ofa2107@

            Academic Editor: P. Vineis

            J Cancer Epidemiol
            J Cancer Epidemiol
            Journal of Cancer Epidemiology
            Hindawi Publishing Corporation
            20 February 2013
            : 2013
            Copyright © 2013 Tomi F. Akinyemiju et al.

            This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

            Research Article

            Oncology & Radiotherapy


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