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Blacks from most segregated areas more likely to be diagnosed with advanced lung cancer

Black patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) who lived in the most segregated U.S. counties were more likely to be diagnosed at an advanced stage than Blacks living in the least segregated counties.

Researchers studied the medical records and residences of more than 125,000 White and Black patients diagnosed with NSCLC from 2004 to 2016. They found that with increasing residential segregation, Black patients were 30% more likely to be diagnosed with advanced stage NSCLC than White patients. Black patients also had a 47% decreased likelihood of receiving surgery, one of the most common and effective treatments for the cancer, while White patients had an 18% decreased likelihood with increasing residential segregation.

“We show that disparities between black and white patients can be explained by the level of segregation of the county in which they live,” said Michael Poulson, MD. “This is likely representative of factors like poverty, access to health care, and social mobility, which particularly affect black individuals in more segregated areas.”

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