Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma Patients' Survival Affected By Socioeconomic And Treatment Factors
To investigate the issue, Dr. Xianglin Du of the University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston and colleagues analyzed SEER (Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results)-Medicare linked data for more than 13,000 patients diagnosed at age 65 or older between 1992 and 1999. The metropolitan areas of San Francisco/Oakland, Detroit, Atlanta, Seattle, Los Angeles County, San Jose/Monterey, and the states of Connecticut, Iowa, New Mexico, Utah, and Hawaii were included in this study.
Dr. Du and his team analyzed data related to survival, socioeconomic status, treatment (chemotherapy or radiation), tumor factors (stage and type of NHL), the presence of other diseases or conditions, and other characteristics such as age, race, marital status, and geographic area.
The investigators found that receiving chemotherapy was associated with prolonged survival in patients with NHL and that elderly Caucasian patients with NHL were more likely to receive chemotherapy (52.4 percent) compared with African-Americans (43.2 percent). Also, poor socioeconomic status was significantly associated with increased risk of mortality, and there were a larger proportion of African-American patients living in poor communities compared with other ethnicities. No significant differences in the risk of death were seen between African-Americans and Caucasians after controlling for factors such as treatment and socioeconomic status.
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