Racial disparities in diagnostic evaluation of uterine cancer among Medicaid beneficiaries

J Natl Cancer Inst. 2023 Jun 8;115(6):636-643. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djad027.


Background: To inform reasons contributing to Black-White disparity in early diagnosis of uterine cancer, we compared the quality of diagnostic evaluation received by Black vs White patients with abnormal uterine bleeding (AUB) ultimately diagnosed with uterine cancer.

Methods: Using 2008-2019 MarketScan Multi-State Medicaid Database, we identified Black (n = 858) and White (n = 1749) patients with uterine cancer presenting with AUB. Quality of diagnostic evaluation was measured by delayed diagnosis (>1 year after AUB reporting), not receiving guideline-recommended diagnostic procedures, delayed time to first diagnostic procedure (>2 months after AUB reporting), number of diagnostic procedures received, and number of evaluation and management visits for AUB. The association between race and quality indicators was examined by multivariable regressions adjusting for patient characteristics.

Results: Black patients were more likely than White patients to experience delayed diagnosis (11.3% vs 8.3%, P = .01; adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.71, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.27 to 2.29) or to not receive guideline-recommended diagnostic procedures (10.1% vs 5.0%, P < .001; adjusted OR = 1.94, 95% CI = 1.40 to 2.68). Even when they did receive recommended diagnostic procedures, Black patients were more likely than White patients to experience delay in time to the first diagnostic procedure (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.09 to 1.97). In addition, Black patients underwent more evaluation and management visits for AUB before getting diagnosed compared with White patients (adjusted mean ratio = 1.13, 95% CI = 1.04 to 1.23).

Conclusions: Black and White patients with uterine cancer differed in the quality of diagnostic evaluation received. Improving equity in this area may help reduce Black-White disparity in stage at diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Black or African American
  • Female
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Medicaid*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Uterine Neoplasms* / diagnosis
  • White