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Social Factors Not Genetics Drive Racial Disparities in Colorectal Cancer Survival

to systematically review the existing literature, to allow a more objective appraisal of the evidence, to examine the heterogeneity between the studies, and if appropriate, to enhance the precision of the effect estimates.

The authors found that the overall risk of CRC-related death was only slightly elevated after adjusting for SES and treatment. African Americans had only marginally higher CRC mortality (hazard ratio: 1.13, 95 percent confidence interval: 1.01-1.28) and all-cause mortality (hazard ratio: 1.14, 95 percent confidence interval: 1.00-1.29).

"These findings," conclude the authors, "demonstrated that there is no strong evidence of racial disparities in survival between African-Americans and Caucasians with colon cancer after accounting for racial differences in socioeconomic status." Therefore, conclude the authors, "efforts to eliminate racial disparities in health care and to minimize disparities in socioeconomic status have the potential to reduce racial inequalities in colon cancer survival."

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