HSR&D Citation Abstract
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Interaction between race and prostate cancer treatment benefit in the Veterans Health Administration.
Rude T, Walter D, Ciprut S, Kelly MD, Wang C, Fagerlin A, Langford AT, Lepor H, Becker DJ, Li H, Loeb S, Ravenell J, Leppert JT, Makarov DV. Interaction between race and prostate cancer treatment benefit in the Veterans Health Administration. Cancer. 2021 Nov 1; 127(21):3985-3990.
Studies have demonstrated that Black men may undergo definitive prostate cancer (CaP) treatment less often than men of other races, but it is unclear whether they are avoiding overtreatment of low-risk disease or experiencing a reduction in appropriate care. The authors' aim was to assess the role of race as it relates to treatment benefit in access to CaP treatment in a single-payer population.
The authors used the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Corporate Data Warehouse to perform a retrospective cohort study of veterans diagnosed with low- or intermediate-risk CaP between 2011 and 2017.
The authors identified 35,427 men with incident low- or intermediate-risk CaP. When they controlled for covariates, Black men had 1.05 times the odds of receiving treatment in comparison with non-Black men (P < .001), and high-treatment-benefit men had 1.4 times the odds of receiving treatment in comparison with those in the low-treatment-benefit group (P < .001). The interaction of race and treatment benefit was significant, with Black men in the high-treatment-benefit category less likely to receive treatment than non-Black men in the same treatment category (odds ratio, 0.89; P < .001).
Although race does appear to influence the receipt of definitive treatment in the VHA, this relationship varies in the context of the patient's treatment benefit, with Black men receiving less definitive treatment in high-benefit situations. The influence of patient race at high treatment benefit levels invites further investigation into the driving forces behind this persistent disparity in this consequential group.