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Am J Epidemiol. 2000 Feb 15;151(4):409-16.

Differences in socioeconomic status and survival among white and black men with prostate cancer.

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  • 1Department of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA, USA.


After diagnosis with prostate cancer, Black men in the United States have poorer survival than White men, even after controlling for differences in cancer stage. The extent to which these racial survival differences are due to biologic versus non-biologic factors is unclear, and it has been hypothesized that differences associated with socioeconomic status (SES) might account for much of the observed survival difference. The authors examined this hypothesis in a cohort study, using cancer registry and US Census data for White and Black men with incident prostate cancer (n = 23,334) who resided in 1,005 census tracts in the San Francisco Bay Area during 1973-1993. Separate analyses were conducted using two endpoints: death from prostate cancer and death from other causes. For each endpoint, death rate ratios (Blacks vs. Whites) were computed for men diagnosed at ages <65 years and at ages > or =65 years. These data suggest that differences associated with SES do not explain why Black men die from prostate cancer at a higher rate when compared with White men with this condition. However, among men with prostate cancer, SES-associated differences appear to explain almost all of the racial difference in risk of death from other causes.

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