Impact of Socioeconomic Status and Sociodemographic Factors on Melanoma Presentation Among Ethnic Minorities
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- Wich, L.G., Ma, M.W., Price, L.S. et al. J Community Health (2011) 36: 461. doi:10.1007/s10900-010-9328-4
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Minority melanoma patients have worse survival. In this study, we evaluated the impact of socioeconomic and demographic factors on minority melanoma patients presenting to two different New York City hospitals (one public and one private) managed by the same multidisciplinary team. Sociodemographic and clinicopathologic characteristics were retrieved for melanoma patients presenting to Bellevue Hospital Center (BHC), a public hospital, and the New York University Cancer Institute (NYUCI), a private cancer center. Socioeconomic data was obtained from the United States Census Bureau database. The Kruskal-Wallis and chi-square tests were used to evaluate the associations between race/ethnicity and continuous and categorical variables (e.g. income, stage at presentation), respectively. Minorities comprised 2% (27/1296) of melanoma patients at the NYUCI compared to 42% (50/119) at BHC. Those presenting to the NYUCI were more likely to have a higher median household income (P = 0.05), a higher educational level (P = 0.04), and an earlier stage at presentation (P = 0.02) than those at BHC. NYUCI patients were predominantly covered by commercial insurance (70%), whereas Medicaid (62%) was common among BHC patients. Only 19% of Hispanic patients at BHC chose English as their preferred language. Our data demonstrate that language and health care system factors affect melanoma presentation in minorities.