Socioeconomic Factors Affect Outcomes in Well-Differentiated Thyroid Cancer

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Otolaryngology and head and neck surgery


OBJECTIVES: The effects of socioeconomic status (SES) on the incidence of well-differentiated thyroid cancer (WDTC) are well researched. However, the association between SES and outcomes is not delineated. Our objective was to determine if SES affected outcomes of WDTC.

STUDY DESIGNS: Retrospective database review.

SETTING: Tertiary care medical center.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The Henry Ford Virtual Data Warehouse Tumor Registry was used to identify cases of WDTC. Socioeconomic data were obtained through the 2010 US Census: median household income, percentage below poverty line, median household size, percentage rent versus own property, and general demographics. Survival was the primary outcome. Disease-specific survival was also calculated. Cox proportional hazards were calculated and a multivariate analysis performed.

RESULTS: There were 1317 patients with WDTC. In multivariable analysis, median household income (hazard ratio [HR]: 0.85, 95% confidence interval [95% CI]: 0.79-0.91), household size (HR: 1.49, 95% CI: 1.09-2.14), younger age (HR: 1.97, 95% CI: 1.74-2.23), and female sex (HR: 0.50, 95% CI: 0.37-0.69) were significantly associated with survival. Controlling for stage revealed percentage below poverty line (stage I, HR: 0.51, 95% CI: 1.34-1.78; stage IV, HR: 1.28, 95% CI: 1.04-1.57) and median household income (HR: 0.84, 95% CI: 0.71-0.99) to be significant factors in survival. Median household income was a statistically significant variable for disease-related death (HR: 0.82, 95% CI: 0.69-0.96) CONCLUSIONS: Along with effects on incidence, lower SES correlates with worse survival in WDTC. This suggests that a patient's economic background, with younger age and female sex, influences one's outcomes with regard to both overall and disease-specific death.

Medical Subject Headings

Demography; Female; Humans; Incidence; Male; Michigan; Middle Aged; Neoplasm Staging; Registries; Retrospective Studies; Risk Factors; Social Class; Survival Analysis; Thyroid Neoplasms

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