Socioeconomics play into lymphoma survival

By Anne Harding

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - People with a type of cancer known as non-Hodgkin lymphoma, or NHL, are less likely to get appropriate treatment, and more likely to die of the disease, if they fall into a lower rather than higher socioeconomic level, a study in the journal Cancer shows.

NHL mortality was higher among black patients, Dr. Xianglin L. Du and his colleagues found, but once they accounted for socioeconomic status and treatment, the racial difference disappeared.

“Socioeconomic status can be a proxy for many factors, for example compliance with the therapy,” Du, of The University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, noted in an interview with Reuters Health. As a further example, he pointed out that less educated or poorer individuals might also be less able to cover out-of-pocket health care costs, less likely to have insurance, or less likely to receive early diagnosis and treatment.

Many studies have found ethnic disparities in survival for various cancers, Du and his team note in their report, but no one has investigated whether NHL mortality differs by race.

To investigate, they looked at 13,321 Medicare beneficiaries 65 and older who had been diagnosed with NHL between 1992 and 1999. There were 11,868 whites in the group, 533 African Americans, and 920 people belonging to other ethnicities.

Some 72 percent of the black patients were in the lowest income category, compared to about 22 percent of whites, and blacks were also more likely than whites to have less education.

Chemotherapy is the standard treatment for most patients with NHL, but just 43 percent of African Americans and 52 percent of whites had chemo. Radiation treatment, which also is recommended for some NHL patients, was received by 18 percent of African-American patients and 24 percent of whites.

Patients who underwent chemo or had radiation were less likely to die during the study’s follow-up period; for example, average survival was 32.5 months for patients given chemo, compared to 11.9 months for those who didn’t receive chemo.  Continued…


Related Posts:

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older African-American, Native American and non-white Hispanic women are more likely to develop arthritis than their white counterparts, and the larger prevalence of obesity among these ethnic groups may help explain why, new research shows. Among 146,494 women participating in the Women’s Health Initiative — an ongoing study of an ethnically

Full Post: Ethnic differences in arthritis due to obesity

By Anne Harding NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older African Americans more likely to rate their health as poor compared with older white Americans, even though when the two groups “are functioning extremely well, new research suggests. In a group of healthy Medicare-eligible patients in their 70s, African Americans consistently rated their health worse than did whites,

Full Post: Black seniors perceive health status differently

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - African Americans are less likely than whites to seek end-of-life hospice care — and a new study suggests that hospice admission criteria may be partially to blame. The researchers found that compared with whites African Americans are more likely to want to continue aggressive treatment and expressed a need for more

Full Post: Hospice rules may deter some African Americans

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Cancer news stories and public service announcements that call attention to the fact that African Americans are often diagnosed with cancer at later stages and have lower survival rates than whites may discourage African Americans from getting screened for cancer, new research shows. “We have typically assumed that one of the

Full Post: Negative messages keep blacks from cancer tests

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Certain ethnic groups and women with lower socioeconomic status are at increased risk of developing diabetes while pregnant, research shows. Thirty percent of women who develop “gestational diabetes” will develop type 2 diabetes within the next 7 to 10 years, Dr. Hidde P. van der Ploeg of the University of Sydney,

Full Post: Risk of diabetes in pregnancy higher in some women

Site Navigation

Most Read