The Impact of Residential Segregation on Pancreatic Cancer Diagnosis, Treatment, and Mortality

Academic Article


  • Background: Disparities in pancreatic cancer outcomes between black and white patients are well documented. This study aimed to use a more novel index to examine the impact of racial segregation on the diagnosis, management, and outcomes of pancreatic cancer in black patients compared with white patients. Methods: Black and white adults with pancreatic cancer in urban counties were identified using data from the 2018 submission of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) Program and the 2010 Census. The racial index of dissimilarity (IoD), a validated proxy of racial segregation, was used to assess the evenness with which whites and blacks are distributed across census tracts in each county. Multivariate Poisson regression was performed, and stepwise models were constructed for each of the outcomes. Overall survival was studied using the Kaplan–Meier method. Results: The study enrolled 60,172 adults with a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer between 2005 and 2015. Overall, the black patients (13.8% of the cohort) lived in more segregated areas (IoD, 0.67 vs 0.61; p < 0.05). They were less likely to undergo surgery for localized disease (relative risk [RR], 0.80; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–0.83) and more frequently had a diagnosis of advanced-stage disease (RR, 1.09; 95% CI, 1.01–1.19) with increasing segregation. They also had shorter survival times (9.8 vs 11.4 months; p < 0.05). Conclusions: Disparities in advanced-stage disease at diagnosis, surgery for localized disease, and overall survival are directly related to the degree of residential segregation, a proxy for structural racism. In searching for solutions to this problem, it is important to account for the historical marginalization of black Americans.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Blanco BA; Poulson M; Kenzik KM; McAneny DB; Tseng JF; Sachs TE
  • Start Page

  • 3147
  • End Page

  • 3155
  • Volume

  • 28
  • Issue

  • 6