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Trends in mortality among Black and White men with prostate cancer in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania

Hari S Iyer, Scarlett L Gomez, Jarvis T Chen, Quoc-Dien Trinh, Timothy R Rebbeck

PMID: 33798264 PMCID: PMC8249310 (available on 2022-07-15) DOI: 10.1002/cncr.33506


Background: Reducing disparities in men with prostate cancer (PCa) that may be caused by racial and socioeconomic differences is a major public health priority. Few reports have studied whether these disparities have changed over time.

Methods: Men diagnosed with PCa from January 1, 2000 to December 31, 2015 were identified from the Massachusetts and Pennsylvania cancer registries. All-cause mortality and PCa and cardiovascular cause-specific mortality were assessed. To estimate neighborhood socioeconomic position (nSEP), a summary score was generated using census tract-level measures of income, wealth, educational attainment, and racial and income segregation. Participants were grouped by diagnosis year (2000-2003, 2004-2007, 2008-2011, or 2012-2015), and changing trends in the mortality rate ratio by race and nSEP were estimated using covariate-adjusted Cox models with follow-up for up to 10 years, until death, or until censoring on January 1, 2018.

Results: There were 193,883 patients with PCa and 43,661 deaths over 1,404,131 person-years of follow-up. The Black-White adjusted hazard ratio (aHR) from 2000 to 2003 through 2012 to 2015 was stable for all-cause mortality (aHR, 1.14 to 0.97; P for heterogeneity = .42), decreased for PCa-specific mortality (aHR, 1.38 to 0.93; P for heterogeneity = .005), and increased for cardiovascular mortality (aHR, 1.09 to 1.28; P for heterogeneity = .034). The aHR comparing those in the lowest versus the highest nSEP quintile increased significantly for all-cause mortality (aHR, 1.54 to 1.79; P for heterogeneity = .008), but not for PCa-specific mortality (aHR, 1.60 to 1.72; P for heterogeneity = .40) or cardiovascular mortality (aHR, 1.72 to 1.89; P for heterogeneity = .085).

Conclusions: Although Black-White disparities in prostate mortality declined in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania over the study period, nSEP mortality disparity trends were stagnant or increased, warranting further attention.

Lay summary: Few reports have examined whether racial and socioeconomic disparities in prostate cancer mortality have widened or narrowed in recent years. Using data from 2 state registries (Massachusetts and Pennsylvania) with differing intensities of government-mandated health insurance, trends in racial and neighborhood socioeconomic disparities were studied among Black and White men diagnosed from 2000 to 2015. Overall, trends in racial disparities were stagnant for all-cause mortality, shrank for prostate mortality, and widened for cardiovascular mortality. Disparities associated with neighborhood socioeconomic status either were stagnant or widened across all mortality end points. In general, disparities were more pronounced in Pennsylvania than in Massachusetts.

Keywords: African Americans; health status disparities; male; middle aged; prostatic neoplasms; registries; socioeconomic factors; statistics and numerical data.

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