Socioeconomic status, area remoteness, and survival from childhood leukemia: results from the Nationwide Registry for Childhood Hematological Malignancies in Greece

Eur J Cancer Prev. 2013 Sep;22(5):473-9. doi: 10.1097/CEJ.0b013e32835c7f69.


The aim of the present nationwide Greek study is to assess whether survival from acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is modified by socioeconomic status (SES) and area remoteness. Detailed precoded information derived from a personal interview conducted by specially trained health personnel with the child guardians was available for 883 ALL and 111 AML incident childhood cases registered in the Nationwide Registry for Childhood Hematological Malignancies during the period 1996-2010. Parental socioprofessional category was recorded on the basis of ISCO68 and ISCO88 codes; the exact traveling distance between residence and the treating hospital was ad hoc calculated. Multivariate Cox's proportional hazards models were applied to examine the mutually adjusted associations between survival and potential predictors. Children from a lower parental socioprofessional category experienced 40% worse survival (P=0.02) independent of age, sex, and ALL subtype, whereas those whose parents were married had better outcomes (rate ratio: 0.47, P=0.01). Urbanization of residence at diagnosis or 'residence to treating hospital' distance was not nominally associated with survival from ALL. By contrast, no noteworthy associations implicating SES were found for AML survival, probably because of the burden of the disease and small numbers. Lower SES indicators and a single-parenthood family milieu seem to be independently associated with unfavorable outcomes from childhood ALL. Area remoteness might not be a significant outcome predictor during recent years, following considerable improvements in the motorway infrastructures and care delivery patterns. This study may provide a valuable snapshot capturing the impact of socioeconomic covariates before the burst of the Greek financial crisis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Geography
  • Greece / epidemiology
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hematologic Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Leukemia / mortality*
  • Male
  • Registries / statistics & numerical data
  • Residence Characteristics
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Social Class
  • Survivors / statistics & numerical data*