Background: We addressed the hypothesis that individual-level factors act jointly with social and built environment factors to influence overall survival for men with prostate cancer and contribute to racial/ethnic and socioeconomic (SES) survival disparities.
Methods: We analyzed multi-level data, combining (1) individual-level data from the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study, a population-based study of non-Hispanic White (NHW), Hispanic, and African American prostate cancer cases (N = 1800) diagnosed from 1997 to 2003, with (2) data on neighborhood SES (nSES) and social and built environment factors from the California Neighborhoods Data System, and (3) data on tumor characteristics, treatment and follow-up through 2009 from the California Cancer Registry. Multivariable, stage-stratified Cox proportional hazards regression models with cluster adjustments were used to assess education and nSES main and joint effects on overall survival, before and after adjustment for social and built environment factors.
Results: African American men had worse survival than NHW men, which was attenuated by nSES. Increased risk of death was associated with residence in lower SES neighborhoods (quintile 1 (lowest nSES) vs. 5: HR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.11-2.19) and lower education (<high school vs. college: HR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.05-1.67), and a joint association of low education and low nSES was observed. Adjustment for behavioral, hospital, and restaurant and food environment characteristics only slightly attenuated these associations between SES and survival.
Conclusion: Both individual- and contextual-level SES influence overall survival of men with prostate cancer. Additional research is needed to identify the mechanisms underlying these robust associations.
Keywords: Built environment; Disparities; Education; Neighborhood socioeconomic status; Prostate cancer; Race/ethnicity; Survival.
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