Objectives: This study assessed the importance of socioeconomic status, race, and likelihood of receiving surgery in explaining mortality among patients with stage-I non-small cell lung cancer.
Methods: Analyses focused on Black and White individuals 75 years of age and younger (n = 5189) diagnosed between 1980 and 1982 with stage-I non-small cell lung cancer in Detroit, San Francisco, and Seattle. The main outcome measure was months of survival after diagnosis.
Results: Patients in the highest income decile were 45% more likely to receive surgical treatment and 102% more likely to attain 5-year survival than those in the lowest decile. Whites were 20% more likely to undergo surgery than Blacks and 31% more likely to survive 5 years. Multivariate procedures controlling for age and sex confirmed these observations.
Conclusions: Socioeconomic status and race appear to independently influence likelihood of survival. Failure to receive surgery explains much excess mortality.