Poor, African Americans treated differently

More research into treatment and survival differences between higher- and lower-income patients and nonminority and minority patients is needed.

That’s the conclusion researchers recently announced after comparing medical records of more than 5,000 patients diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer between 1980 and 1982. Poor and African American patients with the diagnosis were less likely to receive aggressive treatment and more likely to die from the disease, compared with affluent or Caucasian patients.

The research was conducted by Howard P. Greenwald, MD, at the University of Southern California in Sacramento. Results were published in the November 1998 issue of the American Journal of Public Health.

Patients with incomes in the highest 10% were 45% more likely to have surgery and twice as likely to live another five years as those with incomes in the lowest 10%, researchers found.