178986 Examination of racial disparities in comorbidities among five-year breast cancer survivors in South Carolina

Monday, October 27, 2008: 11:10 AM

Dayna Campbell, MS, PhD(c) , Dept of Health Services Policy and Management, University of South Carolina, Arnold School of Public Health, Columbia, SC
Keith Elder, PhD, MPH, MPA , Health Services Administration, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL
Saundra Glover, MBA, PhD , Arnold School of Public Health, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC

In South Carolina, breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer among women, regardless of race, accounting for 32% of all female cancer cases. South Carolina experiences significant disparities in breast cancer mortality between African and European American women. These differences are exacerbated by the presence of comorbidities.


This retrospective cohort study examines breast cancer incidence and comorbidities among Medicaid recipients in South Carolina from 1995-2005. Medicaid claims data was chosen to control for insurance status and includes demographic variables such as race, age, county of residence, and mortality. Data on comorbidities and breast cancer were collected using the ICD-9 codes. Logistic regression was used to determine whether the independent variables of interest are predictors of five-year survival and chi-square analysis was used to compare differences in comorbidity on five-year survival.


Preliminary analysis suggests that significant racial differences in five-year survival exist. These differences can be partially explained by the presence, severity, treatment and maintenance of comorbidities. We expect significant differences in comorbidity status between African and European American women and predict their effect on five-year survival differences. Prevalent comorbidities and their impact on five-year breast cancer survival indicated by the Charlson/Tammemagi Index were discussed in this study. A better understanding of how comorbid illness affects stage of cancer sheds light on racial disparities in breast cancer survival, and may lead to the development of policies to address the issues of health care delivery on quality.

Learning Objectives:
By the end of the session, participants will be able to Identify significant racial differences in risk factors for breast cancer mortality Discuss the relationship between breast cancer mortality/survival and the presence of comorbidities Identify significant comorbidities that lead to disparities in breast cancer survival between African American and European American women.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: This research is a part of my dissertation.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.