Racial disparities in individual breast cancer outcomes by hormone-receptor subtype, area-level socio-economic status and healthcare resources

Tomi Akinyemiju, Justin Xavier Moore, Akinyemi I. Ojesina, John W. Waterbor, Sean F. Altekruse

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


The aim of the study is to determine the influence of area-level socio-economic status and healthcare access in addition to tumor hormone-receptor subtype on individual breast cancer stage, treatment, and mortality among Non-Hispanic (NH)-Black, NH-White, and Hispanic US adults. Analysis was based on 456,217 breast cancer patients in the SEER database from 2000 to 2010. Multilevel and multivariable-adjusted logistic and Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was conducted to account for clustering by SEER registry of diagnosis. NH-Black women had greater area-level access to healthcare resources compared with women of other races. For instance, the average numbers of oncology hospitals per million population in counties with NH-Black, NH-White, and Hispanic women were 8.1, 7.7, and 5.0 respectively; average numbers of medical doctors per million in counties with NH-Black, NH-White, and Hispanic women were 100.7, 854.0, and 866.3 respectively; and average number of Ob/Gyn in counties with NH-Black, NH-White, and Hispanic women was 155.6, 127.4, and 127.3, respectively (all p values <0.001). Regardless, NH-Black women (HR 1.39, 95 % CI 1.36–1.43) and Hispanic women (HR 1.05, 95 % CI 1.03–1.08) had significantly higher breast cancer mortality compared with NH-White women even after adjusting for hormone-receptor subtype, area-level socio-economic status, and area-level healthcare access. In addition, lower county-level socio-economic status and healthcare access measures were significantly and independently associated with stage at presentation, surgery, and radiation treatment as well as mortality after adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and HR subtype. Although breast cancer HR subtype is a strong, important, and consistent predictor of breast cancer outcomes, we still observed significant and independent influences of area-level SES and HCA on breast cancer outcomes that deserve further study and may be critical to eliminating breast cancer outcome disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-586
Number of pages12
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016
Externally publishedYes



  • Breast cancer outcomes
  • Healthcare access
  • Hormone-receptor subtype
  • Racial disparities
  • Socio-economic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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