Cancer-Specific Outcomes Better for Insured Patients

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Cancer-Specific Outcomes Better for Insured Patients
Cancer-Specific Outcomes Better for Insured Patients

(HealthDay News) -- Health insurance coverage is associated with improved cancer-specific outcomes for young adults, according to a study published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Ayal A. Aizer, MD, MHS, from the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston, and colleagues examined the correlation between insurance status and cancer-specific outcomes in young adults. Data were obtained from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program for 39,447 patients aged 20 to 40 years and diagnosed with a malignant neoplasm between 2007 and 2009.

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The researchers found that uninsured patients were more likely to be younger, male, nonwhite, and unmarried, and were also more likely to be from regions of lower income, education, and population density than insured patients (P < 0.001 in all cases). 

Insurance coverage correlated with decreased likelihood of presentation with metastatic disease (odds ratio, 0.84; P = 0.003); increased receipt of definitive treatment (odds ratio, 1.95; P < 0.001); and decreased any-cause death (hazard ratio, 0.77; P = 0.002), after adjustment for relevant confounding variables.

"The improved coverage fostered by the Affordable Care Act may translate into better outcomes among most young adults with cancer," the researchers wrote.


  1. Aizer AA, Falit B, Mendu ML et al. Cancer-Specific Outcomes Among Young Adults Without Health Insurance. J Clin Oncol. 2014;doi:10.1200/JCO.2013.54.2555.

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