Socioeconomic disparities in lung cancer treatment and outcomes persist within a single academic medical center

Jeffrey T. Yorio, Jingsheng Yan, Yang Xie, David E. Gerber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background: Socioeconomic disparities in treatment and outcomes of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) are well established. To explore whether these differences are secondary to individual or institutional characteristics, we examined treatment selection and outcome in a diverse population treated at a single medical center. Patients and Methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of consecutive patients diagnosed with NSCLC stages I-III from 2000 to 2005 at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Treatment selection was dichotomized as 'standard' (surgery for stage I-II; surgery and/or radiation therapy for stage III) or 'other.' Associations between patient characteristics (including socioeconomic status) and treatment selection were examined using logistic regression; associations between characteristics and overall survival were examined using Cox regression models and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis. Results: A total of 450 patients were included. Twenty-eight percent of patients had private insurance, 43% had Medicare, and 29% had an indigent care plan. The likelihood of receiving 'standard' therapy was significantly associated with insurance type (indigent plan versus private insurance odds ratio [OR] 0.13, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.04, 0.43 for stage I-II; OR 0.38, 95% CI 0.14, 1.00 for stage III). For patients with stage I-II NSCLC, survival was associated with age, sex, insurance type (indigent plan versus private insurance hazard ratio for death 1.98; 95% CI 1.16, 3.37), stage, and treatment selection. In stage III NSCLC, survival was associated with treatment selection. Conclusion: Within a single academic medical center, socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with stage I-III NSCLC are less likely to receive 'standard' therapy. Socioeconomically disadvantaged patients with stage I-II NSCLC have inferior survival independent of therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)448-457
Number of pages10
JournalClinical lung cancer
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2012


  • Chemotherapy
  • Insurance
  • Minorities
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery
  • Underserved

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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