The following is a summary of “Color or money?: The impact of socioeconomic status and race/ethnicity on breast cancer mortality,” published in the December 2022 issue of Surgery by Nnorom, et al.

Black women die more frequently from breast cancer, despite White women having the largest disease prevalence. For a study, researchers sought to contrast the relative impact of socioeconomic level and race/ethnicity on breast cancer mortality.

They found female breast cancer patients in the SEER database who were diagnosed between 2007 and 2011 and tracked through 2016. Using a prosperity measure, patients were divided into socioeconomic quartiles. The 5-year cancer-specific survival rate was the main outcome of interest.

About 286,520 patients in all were included. In each socioeconomic quartile, Black women’s five-year survival rates were lower than those of other races and ethnicities. For example, black women in the lowest quartile, second quartile, and third quartile had the lowest 5-year survival rates (hazard ratios of 1.33, 1.23, and 1.20; P< 0.01) compared to White women in the lowest quartile.

Black women only had cancer death outcomes comparable to those of the lowest quartile of White women in the most affluent quartile.