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1.  Patterns and predictors of breast cancer chemotherapy use in Kaiser Permanente Northern California, 2004-2007 
Chemotherapy regimens for early stage breast cancer have been tested by randomized clinical trials, and specified by evidence-based practice guidelines. However, little is known about the translation of trial results and guidelines to clinical practice. We extracted individual-level data on chemotherapy administration from the electronic medical records of Kaiser Permanente Northern California (KPNC), a pre-paid integrated healthcare system serving 29% of the local population. We linked data to the California Cancer Registry, incorporating socio-demographic and tumor factors, and performed multivariable logistic regression analyses on the receipt of specific chemotherapy regimens. We identified 6,004 women diagnosed with Stage I–III breast cancer at KPNC during 2004–2007; 2,669 (44.5 %) received at least one chemotherapy infusion at KPNC within 12 months of diagnosis. Factors associated with receiving chemotherapy included age <50 years [odds ratio (OR) 2.27, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.81–2.86], tumor >2 cm (OR 2.14, 95 % CI 1.75-2.61), involved lymph nodes (OR 11.3, 95 % CI 9.29–13.6), hormone receptor-negative (OR 6.94, 95% CI 4.89–9.86), Her2/neu-positive (OR 2.71, 95% CI 2.10–3.51), or high grade (OR 3.53, 95 % CI 2.77-4.49) tumors; comorbidities associated inversely with chemotherapy use [heart disease for anthracyclines (OR 0.24, 95 % CI 0.14–0.41), neuropathy for taxanes (OR 0.45, 95 % CI 0.22–0.89)]. Relative to high-socioeconomic status (SES) non-Hispanic Whites, we observed less anthracycline and taxane use by SES non-Hispanic Whites (OR 0.63, 95 % CI 0.49-0.82) and American Indians (OR 0.23, 95 % CI 0.06–0.93), and more anthracycline use by high-SES Asians/Pacific Islanders (OR 1.72, 95 % CI 1.02–2.90). In this equal-access healthcare system, chemotherapy use followed practice guidelines, but varied by race and socio-demographic factors. These findings may inform efforts to optimize quality in breast cancer care.
PMCID: PMC3769522  PMID: 23139057
Breast cancer; Chemotherapy; Patterns of care; Electronic medical record; Disparities; Outcomes research; Quality of care
2.  Patient, hospital, and neighborhood factors associated with treatment of early-stage breast cancer among Asian American women in California 
Clinical guidelines recommend breast conserving surgery (BCS) with radiation as a viable alternative to mastectomy for treatment of early-stage breast cancer. Yet, Asian Americans (AA) are more likely than other groups to have mastectomy or omit radiation after BCS.
We applied polytomous logistic regression and recursive partitioning (RP) to analyze factors associated with mastectomy, or BCS without radiation, among 20,987 California AAs diagnosed with stage 0–II breast cancer from 1990–2007.
The percentage receiving mastectomy ranged from 40% among US-born Chinese to 58% among foreign-born Vietnamese. Factors associated with mastectomy included tumor characteristics such as larger tumor size, patient characteristics such as older age and foreign birthplace among some AA ethnicities, and additional factors including hospital (smaller hospital size, not NCI cancer center, low socioeconomic status (SES) patient composition, and high hospital AA patient composition) and neighborhood characteristics (ethnic enclaves of low SES). These hospital and neighborhood characteristics were also associated with BCS without radiation. Through RP, the highest mastectomy subgroups were defined by tumor characteristics such as size and anatomic location, in combination with diagnosis year and nativity.
Tumor characteristics and, secondarily, patient, hospital and neighborhood factors, are predictors of mastectomy and omission of radiation following BCS among AAs.
By focusing on interactions among patient, hospital, and neighborhood factors in the differential receipt of breast cancer treatment, our study identifies subgroups of interest for further study, and translation into public health and patient-focused initiatives to ensure that all women are fully informed about treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3406750  PMID: 22402290
3.  The California Neighborhoods Data System: a new resource for examining the impact of neighborhood characteristics on cancer incidence and outcomes in populations 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2011;22(4):631-647.
Research on neighborhoods and health has been growing. However, studies have not investigated the association of specific neighborhood measures, including socioeconomic and built environments, with cancer incidence or outcomes. We developed the California Neighborhoods Data System (CNDS), an integrated system of small area-level measures of socioeconomic and built environments for California, which can be readily linked to individual-level geocoded records. The CNDS includes measures such as socioeconomic status, population density, racial residential segregation, ethnic enclaves, distance to hospitals, walkable destinations, and street connectivity. Linking the CNDS to geocoded cancer patient information from the California Cancer Registry, we demonstrate the variability of CNDS measures by neighborhood socioeconomic status and predominant race/ethnicity for the 7,049 California census tracts, as well as by patient race/ethnicity. The CNDS represents an efficient and cost-effective resource for cancer epidemiology and control. It expands our ability to understand the role of neighborhoods with regard to cancer incidence and outcomes. Used in conjunction with cancer registry data, these additional contextual measures enable the type of transdisciplinary, “cells-to-society” research that is now being recognized as necessary for addressing population disparities in cancer incidence and outcomes.
PMCID: PMC3102646  PMID: 21318584
Neighborhood; Socioeconomic environment; Built environment; Immigration; Contextual factors; GIS
4.  Survival following non-small cell lung cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander, Latina, and non-Hispanic White women who have never smoked 
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among US Asian/Pacific Islander (API) and Latina women, despite low smoking prevalence. This study examined survival patterns following non-small cell lung cancer in a population-based sample of lung cancer cases from the San Francisco Bay Area Lung Cancer Study (SFBALCS).
Women diagnosed with lung cancer from 1998–2003 and 2005–2008 and identified through the Greater Bay Area Cancer Registry were telephone-screened for eligibility for the SFBALCS. The screener data were linked to the cancer registry data to determine follow-up. This analysis included 187 non-Hispanic White, 23 US-born Latina, 32 foreign-born Latina, 30 US-born API, and 190 foreign-born API never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer and followed through 2008.
All-cause survival was poorer among APIs (hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.7 (1.0–2.8) among US-born APIs; 1.2 (0.9–1.5) among foreign-born APIs), and Latinas (HR (95% CI) = 2.1 (1.2–3.6) among US-born Latinas; 1.4 (0.9–2.3) among foreign-born Latinas), relative to non-Hispanic Whites. These survival differences were not explained by differences in selected sociodemographic or clinical factors.
Further research should focus on factors such as cultural behaviors, access to or attitudes toward health care, and genetic variations, as possible explanations for these striking racial/ethnic differences.
Latina and API female never smokers diagnosed with lung cancer were up to two-times more likely to die than non-Hispanic Whites, highlighting the need for additional research to identify the underlying reasons for the disparities, as well as heightened clinical awareness.
PMCID: PMC3070404  PMID: 21239685
lung cancer survival; Asian; Latina; Hispanic; never smokers; nativity
5.  Spousal Interrelations in Self-Reports of Cognition in the Context of Marital Problems 
Gerontology  2010;57(2):148-152.
Problems with cognitive function are common among older adults, yet there is little research assessing the extent to which the cognitive problems of older husbands and wives are related to those of their partners and whether any observed relationships are moderated by gender or marital quality. Objectives: Our purpose was to analyze longitudinal relationships between older spouses’ cognitive function and the cognitive function of their partners 5 years later, as well as to assess moderating roles of gender and marital quality.
The subjects were 378 community-dwelling couples aged 46–89 years at baseline who were followed for 5 years. Cognitive function was measured with a scale assessing problems remembering names, finding the right word, misplacing things and paying attention. Marital quality was assessed by comparing those reporting marital problems often or sometimes with those reporting marital problems rarely or never. All data were collected by self-report. Statistical models adjusted for paired data where appropriate and included partner cognitive function, age, chronic conditions and financial hardship. Stratified models assessed moderating roles of gender and marital problems.
We found a negative relationship between husbands’ baseline lower cognitive function and wives’ subsequent cognitive function but only for the wives reporting marital problems. We found no comparable relationship between wives’ baseline lower cognitive function and their husbands’ subsequent cognitive function.
Our gender-specific finding for wives is consistent with the gender differences noted in 2 previous studies. The limitation to wives with problems in their marriages is a new finding and might follow increased stress and depression responding to changes in their husbands’ cognitive functioning.
PMCID: PMC3214837  PMID: 20616528
Dyads; Gender differences; Marital quality; Dementia
6.  Disparities in Breast Cancer Survival Among Asian Women by Ethnicity and Immigrant Status: A Population-Based Study 
American journal of public health  2010;100(5):861-869.
We investigated heterogeneity in ethnic composition and immigrant status among US Asians as an explanation for disparities in breast cancer survival.
We enhanced data from the California Cancer Registry and the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program through linkage and imputation to examine the effect of immigrant status, neighborhood socioeconomic status, and ethnic enclave on mortality among Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, Korean, South Asian, and Vietnamese women diagnosed with breast cancer from 1988 to 2005 and followed through 2007.
US-born women had similar mortality rates in all Asian ethnic groups except the Vietnamese, who had lower mortality risk (hazard ratio [HR]=0.3; 95% confidence interval [CI]=0.1, 0.9). Except for Japanese women, all foreign-born women had higher mortality than did US-born Japanese, the reference group. HRs ranged from 1.4 (95% CI=1.2, 1.7) among Koreans to 1.8 (95% CI=1.5, 2.2) among South Asians and Vietnamese. Little of this variation was explained by differences in disease characteristics.
Survival after breast cancer is poorer among foreign- than US-born Asians. Research on underlying factors is needed, along with increased awareness and targeted cancer control.
PMCID: PMC2853623  PMID: 20299648
7.  Disparities in survival after Hodgkin lymphoma: a population-based study 
Cancer causes & control : CCC  2009;20(10):1881-1892.
Survival after Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) is generally favorable, but may vary by patient demographic characteristics. The authors examined HL survival according to race/ethnicity and neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), determined from residential census block group at diagnosis. For 12,492 classical HL patients ≥15 years diagnosed in California during 1988-2006 and followed through 2007, we determined risk of overall and HL-specific death using Cox proportional hazards regression; analyses were stratified by age and Ann Arbor stage. Irrespective of disease stage, patients with lower neighborhood SES had worse overall and HL-specific survival than patients with higher SES. Patients with the lowest quintile of neighborhood SES had a 64% (patients aged 15-44 years) and 36% (≥45 years) increased risk of HL-death compared to patients with the highest quintile of SES; SES results were similar for overall survival. Even after adjustment for neighborhood SES, blacks and Hispanics had increased risks of HL-death 74% and 43% (15-44 years) and 40% and 17% (≥45 years), respectively, higher than white patients. The racial/ethnic differences in survival were evident for all stages of disease. These data provide evidence for substantial, and probably remediable, racial/ethnic and neighborhood SES disparities in HL outcomes.
PMCID: PMC2888633  PMID: 19557531
Hodgkin disease; survival; mortality; social class; census
8.  Lifetime risks of specific breast cancer subtypes among women in four racial/ethnic groups 
Breast cancer comprises clinically distinct subtypes, but most risk statistics consider breast cancer only as a single entity. To estimate subtype-specific lifetime breast cancer risks, we took advantage of population-based data for which information regarding tumor expression of estrogen receptor (ER), progesterone receptor (PR) and HER2/neu (HER2) was newly available.
We included women whose breast cancer was diagnosed in the state of California from 2006 to 2007 and was reported to the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results Program (N = 40,936). We calculated absolute lifetime and age-specific probabilities (percent, 95% confidence interval) of developing breast cancer subtypes defined by ER, PR, and HER2 status - luminal (ER and/or PR-positive, HER2-negative), HER2-positive (ER and PR-positive or negative, HER2-positive), and triple-negative (ER-negative, PR-negative, and HER2-negative) - separately for white, black, Hispanic, and Asian women.
The luminal breast cancer subtype predominates across racial/ethnic groups, with lifetime risk lowest in Hispanic women (4.60%, 4.41-4.80%) and highest in white women (8.10%, 7.94-8.20%). HER2-positive breast cancer varies less by race (1.56-1.91%). Lifetime risk of triple-negative breast cancer is highest in black women (1.98%, 1.80-2.17%), compared to 0.77% (0.67-0.88%) for Asians, 1.04% (0.96-1.13%) for Hispanics and 1.25% (1.20-1.30%) for whites. Across racial/ethnic groups, nearly half of all luminal breast cancers occur after age 70.
These absolute risk estimates may inform health policy and resource planning across diverse populations, and can help patients and physicians weigh the probabilities of developing specific breast cancer subtypes against competing health risks.
PMCID: PMC3046442  PMID: 21092082
9.  Ethnic Differences in Decisional Balance and Stages of Mammography Adoption 
Behavioral theories developed through research with mainstream, English-speaking populations have been applied to ethnically diverse and underserved communities in the effort to eliminate disparities in early breast cancer detection. This study tests the validity of the transtheoretical model (TTM) decisional balance measure and the application of the TTM stages of change in a multiethnic, multilingual sample. A random sample of 1,463 Filipino, Latino, African American, Chinese, and White women aged 40 to 74 completed a phone survey of mammography beliefs and practices. Consistent with the TTM and independent of ethnicity, decisional balance was associated with mammography stage in all five ethnic groups when controlling for socioeconomic and other factors. In addition, having private insurance and a regular physician and being a long-time resident in the United States were positively associated with mammography maintenance. The application of the TTM for mammography is supported in a multiethnic and multilingual sample.
PMCID: PMC2939724  PMID: 16891624
attitudes; ethnicity; stages of mammography adoption; access; decisional balance
10.  Uncovering disparities in survival after non-small-cell lung cancer among Asian/Pacific Islander ethnic populations in California 
Asians may have better survival after non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) than non-Asians. However, it is unknown whether survival varies among the heterogeneous U.S. Asian/Pacific Islander (API) populations. Therefore, this study aimed to quantify survival differences among APIs with NSCLC. Differences in overall and disease-specific survival were analyzed in the California Cancer Registry among 16,577 API patients diagnosed with incident NSCLC between 1988 and 2007. Adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated using Cox proportional hazards regression models with separate baseline hazards by disease stage. Despite better overall and disease-specific survival among APIs compared with non-Hispanic Whites, differences were evident across API populations. Among women, Japanese (overall survival HR=1.16, 95% CI=1.06–1.27) and APIs other than those in the six largest ethnic groups (“other APIs”; HR=1.19, 95% CI=1.07–1.33) had significantly poorer overall and disease-specific survival than Chinese. By contrast, South Asian women had significantly better survival than Chinese (HR=0.79, 95% CI=0.63–0.97). Among men, Japanese (HR=1.15, 95% CI=1.07–1.24), Vietnamese (HR=1.07, 95% CI=1.00–1.16), and other APIs (HR=1.18, 95% CI=1.08–1.28) had significantly poorer overall and disease-specific survival than Chinese. Other factors independently associated with poorer survival were lower neighborhood SES, involvement with a non-university-teaching hospital, unmarried status, older age, and earlier year of diagnosis. APIs have significant ethnic differences in NSCLC survival that may be related to disparate lifestyles, biology, and especially health care access or use. To reduce the nationwide burden of lung cancer mortality, it is critical to identify and ameliorate hidden survival disparities such as those among APIs.
PMCID: PMC2764550  PMID: 19622719
non-small-cell lung cancer; survival; Asian Americans; Pacific Islanders; ethnic groups
11.  Availability and accuracy of medical record information on language usage of cancer patients from a multi-ethnic population 
Documentation of language usage in medical settings could be effective in identifying and addressing language barriers and would improve understanding of health disparities.
This study evaluated the availability and accuracy of medical records information on language for 1,664 cancer patients likely to have poor English proficiency. Accuracy was assessed by comparison to language obtained from interview-based research studies.
For patients diagnosed at facilities where information on language was not abstracted electronically, 81.6% had language information in their medical records, most often in admissions documents. For all 37 hospitals, agreement between medical records and interview language was 79.3% overall and was greater for those speaking English than another language.
Language information is widely available in hospital medical records of cancer patients. However, for the data to be useful for research and reducing language barriers in medical care, the information must be collected in a consistent and accurate manner.
PMCID: PMC2889213  PMID: 19685187
cancer; language; epidemiology; medical record
12.  Racial/ethnic variation in EBV-positive classical Hodgkin lymphoma in California populations 
Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is detected in the tumor cells of some but not all Hodgkin lymphoma (HL) patients, and evidence indicates that EBV-positive and –negative HL are distinct entities. Racial/ethnic variation in EBV-positive HL in international comparisons suggests etiologic roles for environmental and genetic factors, but these studies used clinical series and evaluated EBV presence by differing protocols. Therefore, we evaluated EBV presence in the tumors of a large (n=1,032), racially and sociodemographically diverse series of California incident classical HL cases with uniform pathology re-review and EBV detection methods. Tumor EBV-positivity was associated with Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander (API) but not black race/ethnicity, irrespective of demographic and clinical factors. Complex race-specific associations were observed between EBV-positive HL and age, sex, histology, stage, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), and birth place. In Hispanics, EBV-positive HL was associated not only with young and older age, male sex, and mixed cellularity histology, but also with foreign birth and lower SES in females, suggesting immune function responses to correlates of early childhood experience and later environmental exposures, respectively, as well as of pregnancy. For APIs, a lack of association with birth place may reflect the higher SES of API than Hispanic immigrants. In blacks, EBV-positive HL was associated with later-stage disease, consistent with racial/ethnic variation in certain cytokine polymorphisms. The racial/ethnic variation in our findings suggests that EBV-positive HL results from an intricate interplay of early- and later-life environmental, hormonal, and genetic factors leading to depressed immune function and poorly controlled EBV infection.
PMCID: PMC2775059  PMID: 18646185
Hodgkin lymphoma; Epstein-Barr virus; racial/ethnic variation; epidemiology
13.  Socioeconomic Determinants of Psychological Well-Being: The Role of Income, Income Change, and Income Sources Over 29 Years 
Annals of epidemiology  2008;18(7):531-537.
Considerable evidence indicates that income and other measures of socioeconomic position are associated with a wide variety of health outcomes, there are few studies that prospectively examine the association between socioeconomic position over decades and health outcomes. The present study, covering almost three decades of the life course, examined the cumulative impact of different income measures on psychological well-being among adults.
We used data collected over 29 (1965–94) years from Alameda County Study participants to study the association between average income, income changes, profit and benefit incomes—and five scales of psychological well-being—Purpose in Life, Self-acceptance, Personal Growth, Environmental Mastery, and Autonomy. In age-adjusted models, the psychological well-being measures were each regressed on each of the income measures. Potential confounders (sex, education, race/ethnicity, social isolation, depression and perceived health) were also examined.
Mean income over almost three decades was strongly associated with all five scales of psychological well-being. Psychological well-being increased with the number of waves in which profit income was reported and with income increases over time. For all scales except Autonomy, psychological well-being decreased with the number of waves receiving need-based benefit and with decreasing income over time.
Psychological well-being may reflect the accumulation of socioeconomic advantage and disadvantage over decades.
PMCID: PMC2771109  PMID: 18504142
Psychological well-being; socioeconomic factors; quality of life; life course
14.  Socioeconomic status and prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates among the diverse population of California 
Cancer Causes & Control   2009;20(8):1431-1440.
The racial/ethnic disparities in prostate cancer rates are well documented, with the highest incidence and mortality rates observed among African-Americans followed by non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders. Whether socioeconomic status (SES) can account for these differences in risk has been investigated in previous studies, but with conflicting results. Furthermore, previous studies have focused primarily on the differences between African-Americans and non-Hispanic Whites, and little is known for Hispanics and Asian/Pacific Islanders.
To further investigate the relationship between SES and prostate cancer among African-Americans, non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders, we conducted a large population-based cross-sectional study of 98,484 incident prostate cancer cases and 8,997 prostate cancer deaths from California.
Data were abstracted from the California Cancer Registry, a population-based surveillance, epidemiology, and end results (SEER) registry. Each prostate cancer case and death was assigned a multidimensional neighborhood-SES index using the 2000 US Census data. SES quintile-specific prostate cancer incidence and mortality rates and rate ratios were estimated using SEER*Stat for each race/ethnicity categorized into 10-year age groups.
For prostate cancer incidence, we observed higher levels of SES to be significantly associated with increased risk of disease [SES Q1 vs. Q5: relative risk (RR) = 1.28; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.25–1.30]. Among younger men (45–64 years), African-Americans had the highest incidence rates followed by non-Hispanic Whites, Hispanics, and Asian/Pacific Islanders for all SES levels. Yet, among older men (75–84 years) Hispanics, following African-Americans, displayed the second highest incidence rates of prostate cancer. For prostate cancer deaths, higher levels of SES were associated with lower mortality rates of prostate cancer deaths (SES Q1 vs. Q5: RR = 0.88; 95% CI: 0.92–0.94). African-Americans had a twofold to fivefold increased risk of prostate cancer deaths in comparison to non-Hispanic Whites across all levels of SES.
Our findings suggest that SES alone cannot account for the greater burden of prostate cancer among African-American men. In addition, incidence and mortality rates of prostate cancer display different age and racial/ethnic patterns across gradients of SES.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10552-009-9369-0) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC2746891  PMID: 19526319
Prostate cancer; Socioeconomic status; Disparities; Incidence rates; Mortality rates
15.  The Effect of Access and Satisfaction on Regular Mammogram and Papanicolaou Test Screening in a Multiethnic Population 
Medical care  2004;42(9):914-926.
Access and satisfaction are determinants of preventive service use, but few studies have evaluated their role in breast and cervical cancer screening in multiethnic populations.
We sought to investigate the relationship between race/ethnicity, access, satisfaction, and regular mammogram and Papanicolaou test receipt in 5 racial/ethnic groups.
Research Design
We conducted a telephone survey in 4 languages.
Our subjects were black, Chinese, Filipino, Latino, or white women aged 40 to 74 residing in Alameda County, California.
Outcome: regular mammograms (last test within 15 months and another within 2 years prior) and Papanicolaou tests (36 months and 3 years, respectively). Independent: race/ethnicity, sociodemographic variables, access (health insurance, usual site of care, regular doctor, check-up within 12 months, knowing where to go, copayment for tests), and satisfaction (overall satisfaction scale, waiting times, test-related pain and embarrassment, test satisfaction).
Among women who had ever had a mammogram or Papanicolaou test, 54% and 77%, respectively, received regular screening. In multivariate analyses, regular mammography was positively associated with increased age (odds ratio [OR] 1.05 per year), private insurance (OR 1.7), check-up in the past year (OR 2.3), knowing where to go for mammography (OR 3.0), and greater satisfaction with processes of care (OR 1.04 per unit), and negatively with not knowing copayment amount (OR 0.4), too many forms to fill out (OR 0.5), embarrassment at the last mammogram (OR 0.6), and Filipino race/ethnicity. Similar results were found for regular Papanicolaou tests.
Access and satisfaction are important predictors of screening but do little to explain racial/ethnic variation. Tailored interventions to improve regular mammography and Papanicolaou test screening in multiethnic populations are needed.
PMCID: PMC1618783  PMID: 15319618
access to care; mammography; race and ethnicity; cancer screening; patient satisfaction
16.  Longitudinal, population-based study of racial/ethnic differences in colorectal cancer survival: impact of neighborhood socioeconomic status, treatment and comorbidity 
BMC Cancer  2007;7:193.
Colorectal cancer, if detected early, has greater than 90% 5-year survival. However, survival has been shown to vary across racial/ethnic groups in the United States, despite the availability of early detection methods.
This study evaluated the joint effects of sociodemographic factors, tumor characteristics, census-based socioeconomic status (SES), treatment, and comorbidities on survival after colorectal cancer among and within racial/ethnic groups, using the SEER-Medicare database for patients diagnosed in 1992–1996, and followed through 1999.
Unadjusted colorectal cancer-specific mortality rates were higher among Blacks and Hispanic males than whites (relative rates (95% confidence intervals) = 1.34 (1.26–1.42) and 1.16 (1.04–1.29), respectively), and lower among Japanese (0.78 (0.70–0.88)). These patterns were evident for all-cause mortality, although the magnitude of the disparity was larger for colorectal cancer mortality. Adjustment for stage accounted for the higher rate among Hispanic males and most of the lower rate among Japanese. Among Blacks, stage and SES accounted for about half of the higher rate relative to Whites, and within stage III colon and stages II/III rectal cancer, SES completely accounted for the small differentials in survival between Blacks and Whites. Comorbidity did not appear to explain the Black-White differentials in colorectal-specific nor all-cause mortality, beyond stage, and treatment (surgery, radiation, chemotherapy) explained a very small proportion of the Black-White difference. The fully-adjusted relative mortality rates comparing Blacks to Whites was 1.14 (1.09–1.20) for all-cause mortality and 1.21 (1.14–1.29) for colorectal cancer specific mortality. The sociodemographic, tumor, and treatment characteristics also had different impacts on mortality within racial/ethnic groups.
In this comprehensive analysis, race/ethnic-specific models revealed differential effects of covariates on survival after colorectal cancer within each group, suggesting that different strategies may be necessary to improve survival in each group. Among Blacks, half of the differential in survival after colorectal cancer was primarily attributable to stage and SES, but differences in survival between Blacks and Whites remain unexplained with the data available in this comprehensive, population-based, analysis.
PMCID: PMC2228311  PMID: 17939875

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