(HealthDay News) — Racial/ethnic differences in breast cancer survival persist even after adjustment for socioeconomic status (SES), according to a study presented at the American Association for Cancer Research’s Conference on The Science of Cancer Health Disparities, held from Oct. 27 to 30 in San Diego.
To evaluate the interaction between multiple components of SES (e.g., race/ethnicity and SES), Salma Shariff-Marco, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California in Fremont, and colleagues analyzed data from two population-based studies involving 4,405 breast cancer patients diagnosed from 1995 to 2008.
The researchers found that, after adjustment for age, study, and tumor characteristics, all-cause survival was significantly worse for African-Americans and better for Latinas and Asian-Americans compared with non-Latina whites. After additional adjustment, the associations were attenuated for African-Americans such that their survival was similar to non-Latina whites, while the associations persisted for Latinas and Asian Americans. Considering the racial/ethnic and SES interactions, social status disparities existed for breast cancer survival. All-cause survival was worse for low education/low neighborhood SES (nSES) non-Latina whites, low nSES African-Americans (regardless of education), and low education/low nSES Asian-Americans, whereas all-cause survival was better for high nSES Latinas (regardless of education) and high education/high nSES Asian Americans — all compared to high education/high nSES non-Latina whites. Breast cancer-specific survival exhibited similar patterns.
“We learned that the effects of neighborhood SES differed by racial/ethnic group,” Shariff-Marco said in a statement. “When simultaneously accounting for race/ethnicity and SES, we found persistent differences in survival within and across racial/ethnic groups.”