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Chicago racial disparities in breast cancer mortality significantly higher than national average
Date:10/21/2010

Disparities in breast cancer mortality continue to be unacceptably high in Chicago and significantly larger than the national average according to new data released today at a rally sponsored by the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force. The Task Force also announced results of the first year of data collection by the Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium, which found many hospitals in Chicago are not meeting accepted quality standards.

The Sinai Urban Health Institute has been tracking mortality data since it first brought attention to the problem in 2006 and can now better demonstrate long-term trends. In the early 1980s, although the breast cancer mortality rates for white women in Chicago were higher than that of black women, the disparity between the two was comparatively low, only about 9%. Then, rates for white women went down dramatically but the rates for black women did not go down at all; in fact, they increased. Disparities began to widen dramatically in the early 90s and continued to widen through 2007. From 2005 through 2007, the death rate from breast cancer for black women was an average of 62% higher than that for white women.

These levels continue to be much higher than breast cancer mortality disparities found across the United States (41%), and in New York City (27%).

At the rally held at the First United Methodist Church, The Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium, a project of the Task Force, also released new data collected during its first year.

In 2009, the Quality Consortium became the nation's first federally designated Patient Safety Organization dedicated solely to breast health. With the federal protections provided by this designation, 55 hospitals and the Chicago Department of Public Health signed up in 2009 to join the Chicago Breast Cancer Quality Consortium project and share quality data to identify deficits and implement strategies to improve breast cancer screening and
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Contact: Kim Waterman
Kimberly_Waterman@rush.edu
312-942-7820
Rush University Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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