Interplay of race, socioeconomic status, and treatment on survival of patients with prostate cancer

Urology. 2009 Dec;74(6):1296-302. doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2009.02.058.


Objectives: To compare overall and prostate cancer-specific survival, using the Detroit Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry data, among 8679 Detroit area black and white men with localized or regional stage prostate cancer diagnosed from 1988 to 1992 to determine whether racial disparities in long-term survival remained after adjusting for treatment type and socioeconomic status (SES).

Methods: The cases were geocoded to the census block-group, and SES data were obtained from the 1990 U.S. Census. Cox proportional hazards regression analysis was used to estimate the hazard ratio of death from any cause. The median follow-up was 16.5 years.

Results: Of the 7770 localized stage cases (22% black and 78% white) and 909 regional cases (24% black and 76% white), black men were more likely to receive nonsurgical treatment (P < .001) and to be of low SES (P < .0001). The survival analyses were stratified by stage. For both stages, black men had poorer survival than white men in the unadjusted model. The adjustment for age and tumor grade had little effect on the survival differences, but adjustment for SES and treatment removed the survival differences.

Conclusions: Low SES and nonsurgical treatment were associated with a greater risk of death among men with prostate cancer, explaining much of the survival disadvantage for black men with prostate cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • African Americans*
  • Aged
  • European Continental Ancestry Group*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / mortality*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Rate