alexa Differences in melanoma outcomes among Hispanic Medicare enrollees.


Journal of Pigmentary Disorders

Author(s): Rouhani P, Arheart KL, Kirsner RS

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Abstract BACKGROUND: Hispanics are given the diagnosis of melanoma at later stages and have reduced survival. OBJECTIVE: We sought to evaluate the effect of Hispanic ethnicity and different health care delivery systems (fee-for-service [FFS] and health maintenance organizations) on melanoma stage at diagnosis and survival. METHODS: We studied a retrospective cohort of 40,633 patients, with at least 3 years of follow-up, who were given the diagnosis of incident melanoma from 1991 to 2002 and were 65 years or older using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linked database. The analytic sample consisted of 39,962 non-Hispanic whites (NHW) and 671 Hispanics. Logistic regression models examined the roles of the health care delivery system and race/ethnicity in stage at diagnosis and survival. RESULTS: For FFS patients, Hispanics were more likely to be given a diagnosis at an advanced stage (distant vs earlier stages [odds ratio {OR} = 2.07; 95\% confidence interval CI = 1.36-3.16]; regional vs earlier stages [OR = 2.31; 95\% CI = 1.75-3.03]) compared with NHW. Among Hispanic patients, those enrolled in health maintenance organizations were less likely to be given a diagnosis at later stage (regional vs earlier stages [OR = 0.50; 95\% CI = 0.31-0.81]) than FFS patients; however, the earlier stage at diagnosis did not improve survival. For patients with a previous cancer before their melanoma diagnoses, NHW enrolled in health maintenance organizations from 1991 to 2002 were given a diagnosis at earlier stages compared with NHW FFS patients (OR = 0.72; 95\% CI = 0.52-0.99); this was not found among Hispanics. LIMITATIONS: These results reflect findings in a Medicare-aged population and it is not clear if they are generalizable to younger patients. CONCLUSIONS: Differences in melanoma outcomes among different ethnic groups are, in part, dependent on the health care setting in which patients are enrolled. Copyright 2010 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved. This article was published in J Am Acad Dermatol and referenced in Journal of Pigmentary Disorders

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