(HealthDay News) – Racial/ethnic differences in breast cancer survival persist even after adjustment for socioeconomic status (SES).

To evaluate the interaction between multiple components of SES (eg, race/ethnicity and SES), Salma Shariff-Marco, PhD, MPH, from the Cancer Prevention Institute of California in Fremont, and colleagues analyzed data from two population-based studies involving 4,405 breast cancer patients diagnosed from 1995–2008.

The researchers found that, after adjustment for age, study, and tumor characteristics, all-cause survival was significantly worse for African-Americans and better for Latinas and Asian-Americans compared with non-Latina whites. After additional adjustment, the associations were attenuated for African-Americans such that their survival was similar to non-Latina whites, while the associations persisted for Latinas and Asian Americans. Considering the racial/ethnic and SES interactions, social status disparities existed for breast cancer survival. All-cause survival was worse for low education/low neighborhood SES (nSES) non-Latina whites, low nSES African-Americans (regardless of education), and low education/low nSES Asian-Americans, whereas all-cause survival was better for high nSES Latinas (regardless of education) and high education/high nSES Asian Americans — all compared to high education/high nSES non-Latina whites. Breast cancer-specific survival exhibited similar patterns.

“We learned that the effects of neighborhood SES differed by racial/ethnic group,” Shariff-Marco said in a statement. “When simultaneously accounting for race/ethnicity and SES, we found persistent differences in survival within and across racial/ethnic groups.”

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