International Journal of Health Geographics, 2011, 10:24 (4 April 2011)
Tian N, Wilson JG, and Zhan FB
“Background: Over the past twenty years, racial/ethnic disparities between late-stage diagnoses and mortality outcomes have widened due to disproportionate medical benefits that different racial/ethnic groups have received. Few studies to date have examined the spatial relationships of racial/ethnic disparities between breast cancer late-stage diagnosis and mortality as well as the impact of socioeconomic status (SES) on these two disparities at finer geographic scales.
“Methods: Three methods were implemented to assess the spatial relationship between racial/ethnic disparities of breast cancer late-stage diagnosis and morality. First, this study used rate difference measure to test for racial/ethnic disparities in both late-stage diagnosis and mortality of female breast cancer in Texas during 1995-2005. Second, we used linear and logistic regression models to determine if there was a correlation between these two racial/ethnic disparities at the census tract level. Third, a geographically-weighted regression analysis was performed to evaluate if this correlation occurred after weighting for local neighbors.
“Results: The spatial association of racial disparities was found to be significant between late-stage diagnosis and breast cancer mortality with odds ratios of 33.76 (CI: 23.96-47.57) for African Americans and 30.39 (CI: 22.09-41.82) for Hispanics. After adjusting for a SES cofounder, logistic regression models revealed a reduced, although still highly significant, odds ratio of 18.39 (CI: 12.79-26.44) for African-American women and 11.64 (CI: 8.29-16.34) for Hispanic women. Results of the logistic regression analysis indicated that census tracts with low and middle SES were more likely to show significant racial disparities of breast cancer late-stage diagnosis and mortality rates. However, values of local correlation coefficients suggested that the association of these two types of racial/ethnic disparities varied across geographic regions.
“Conclusions: This study may have health-policy implications that can help early detection of breast cancer among disadvantaged minority groups through implementing effective intervention programs in targeted regions.”