Racial disparities in mortality for patients with prostate cancer after radical prostatectomy

Cancer. 2021 May 1;127(9):1517-1528. doi: 10.1002/cncr.33152. Epub 2020 Sep 8.


Background: Although racial disparities in prostate cancer survival are well documented, the relative importance of contributing factors remains unclear. Few studies have examined the disparity between Whites and Hispanics or between Whites and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).

Methods: Using data from the National Cancer Database for 526,690 patients with prostate cancer who underwent radical prostatectomy between 2004 and 2014, this study systematically evaluated the impact of clinical characteristics and factors related to access to care on survival by race. Included in the analysis were 432,640 White patients (82.1%), 63,602 Black patients (12.1%), 8990 AAPI patients (1.7%), and 21,458 Hispanic patients (4.1%). Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were used to estimate hazard ratios and 95% confidence intervals to measure racial survival disparities. Inverse probability weighting was used to adjust for imbalances of prognostic factors.

Results: When adjustments were made for age and year of diagnosis only, Blacks had 51% higher mortality, AAPIs had 22% lower mortality, and Hispanics had 6% lower mortality than Whites. Overall, with adjustments for all clinical factors and nonclinical factors, the Black-White survival disparity narrowed to 20%, whereas the AAPI-White disparity increased to 35%. Among the controlled-for factors, education, median household income, and insurance status contributed the most to the racial disparity.

Conclusions: The overall survival disparity among men undergoing radical prostatectomy was significantly decreased, but not eliminated, for Blacks and significantly increased for AAPIs in comparison with Whites after adjustments for a number of clinical factors and factors related to access to care.

Keywords: mortality; prostate cancer; prostatectomy; racial disparity.

MeSH terms

  • Age Factors
  • Asian American Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data
  • Black People / statistics & numerical data
  • Health Services Accessibility* / statistics & numerical data
  • Healthcare Disparities* / ethnology
  • Healthcare Disparities* / statistics & numerical data
  • Hispanic or Latino / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander / statistics & numerical data
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Prostatectomy* / mortality
  • Prostatectomy* / statistics & numerical data
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / ethnology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Prostatic Neoplasms* / surgery
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • White People / statistics & numerical data