Background: Few studies have investigated the association between socioeconomic status and the survival of cancer patients in Japan.
Methods: We examined whether occupation or educational level was associated with the survival of 725 gastric cancer patients who were diagnosed within an ongoing large population-based cohort study.
Results: After adjustment for age at diagnosis, and sex, we found that, compared with professionals or office workers, unemployed subjects (hazard ratio [HR], 2.23; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.27-3.92) and manual laborers (HR, 1.68; 95% CI, 1.07-2.62) had an increased risk of gastric cancer death. After further adjustment for the clinical extent of disease, the increased risk disappeared. Educational level was not associated with the risk.
Conclusions: These findings suggest that a disparity in survival by occupation exists among Japanese gastric cancer patients, largely due to a lower proportion of early disease among the unemployed and manual laborers.