Skip to content

Neighborhood and Individual Socioeconomic Disadvantage and Survival Among Patients With Nonmetastatic Common Cancers

Disadvantaged neighborhood-level and individual-level socioeconomic status (SES) have each been associated with suboptimal cancer care and inferior outcomes. However, independent or synergistic associations between neighborhood and individual socioeconomic disadvantage have not been fully examined, and prior studies using simplistic neighborhood SES measures may not comprehensively assess multiple aspects of neighborhood SES. To investigate the associations of neighborhood SES (using a validated comprehensive composite measure) and individual SES with survival among patients with nonmetastatic common cancers. This prospective, population-based cohort study was derived from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare database from January 1, 2008, through December 31, 2011, with follow-up ending on December 31, 2017. Participants included older patients (≥65 years) with breast, prostate, lung, or colorectal cancer. Neighborhood SES was measured using the area deprivation index (ADI; quintiles), a validated comprehensive composite measure of neighborhood SES. Individual SES was assessed by Medicare-Medicaid dual eligibility (yes vs no), a reliable indicator for patient-level low income. The primary outcome was overall mortality, and the secondary outcome was cancer-specific mortality. Hazard ratios (HRs) for the associations of ADI and dual eligibility with overall and cancer-specific mortality were estimated via Cox proportional hazards regression. Statistical analyses were conducted from January 23 to April 15, 2021. A total of 96 978 patients were analyzed, including 25 968 with breast, 35 150 with prostate, 16 684 with lung, and 19 176 with colorectal cancer. Median age at diagnosis was 76 years (IQR, 71-81 years) for breast cancer, 73 years (IQR, 70-77 years) for prostate cancer, 76 years (IQR, 71-81 years) for lung cancer, and 78 years (IQR, 72-84 years) for colorectal cancer. Among lung and colorectal cancer patients, 8412 (50.4%) and 10 486 (54.7%), respectively, were female. The proportion of non-Hispanic White individuals among breast cancer patients was 83.7% (n = 21 725); prostate cancer, 76.8% (n = 27 001); lung cancer, 83.5% (n = 13 926); and colorectal cancer, 81.1% (n = 15 557). Neighborhood-level and individual-level SES were independently associated with overall mortality, and no interactions were detected. Compared with the most affluent neighborhoods (ADI quintile 1), living in the most disadvantaged neighborhoods (ADI quintile 5) was associated with higher risk of overall mortality (breast: HR, 1.34; 95% CI, 1.26-1.43; prostate: HR, 1.51; 95% CI, 1.42-1.62; lung: HR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.14-1.28; and colorectal: HR, 1.24; 95% CI, 1.17-1.32). Individual socioeconomic disadvantage (dual eligibility) was associated with higher risk of overall mortality (breast: HR, 1.22; 95% CI, 1.15-1.29; prostate: HR, 1.29; 95% CI, 1.21-1.38; lung: HR, 1.14; 95% CI, 1.09-1.20; and colorectal: HR, 1.23; 95% CI, 1.17-1.29). A similar pattern was observed for cancer-specific mortality. In this cohort study, neighborhood-level deprivation was associated with worse survival among patients with nonmetastatic breast, prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer, even after accounting for individual SES. These findings suggest that, in order to improve cancer outcomes and reduce health disparities, policies for ongoing investments in low-resource neighborhoods and low-income households are needed.

Authors: Cheng, En; Soulos, Pamela R; Irwin, Melinda L; Cespedes Feliciano, Elizabeth M; Presley, Carolyn J; Fuchs, Charles S; Meyerhardt, Jeffrey A; Gross, Cary P

JAMA Netw Open. 2021 12 01;4(12):e2139593. Epub 2021-12-01.

PubMed abstract

Explore all studies and publications

Back To Top