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Study examines racial disparities in survival among patients diagnosed with lung cancer
Date:1/19/2009

survival, through 2005.

While black patients recommended to surgery had lung resections less frequently than white patients (69 percent vs. 83 percent, the authors write. After adjustment, there was no significant association between race and death.

Several possible explanations exist for the differences in rates of surgery, the authors note, and these may be important for understanding patient decision-making and improving care delivery systems. Black patients may be more likely to refuse surgery than white patients, or may have more limited access to recommended care.

"Although these findings do not refute the likely roles of health care system and provider biases and patient characteristics as important causal factors underlying health disparities, the findings do suggest that other factors (i.e., distrust, perceptions and beliefs about lung cancer and its treatment and limited access to subspecialty care) may have a more dominant role in causing disparities than previously recognized. The implication of these findings is that interventions designed to narrow gaps in health care should target structural aspects of care, providers and patients and communities at risk for lung cancer and suboptimal care." The study findings suggest that referral of all patients with potentially curable lung cancer for consideration of lung resection may be a helpful tool in mitigating previously identified racial differences in survival.


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Contact: Mary Guiden
mguiden@u.washington.edu
206-616-3192
JAMA and Archives Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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