Black-White racial disparities in health care utilization and self-reported health among cancer survivors: The role of food insecurity

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1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: Non-Hispanic Blacks continue to have worse cancer outcomes than non-Hispanic Whites. Suboptimal health care utilization and poor self-reported health among non-Hispanic Blacks contribute to these disparities. The relationship between race, food security status (FSS), and health care utilization or self-reported health among cancer survivors is not clear. This study aims to fill this gap in the science. Methods: The 2011-2018 National Health Interview Survey data were used. Bivariate and multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between race (non-Hispanic Whites or non-Hispanic Blacks), FSS (high, marginal, low, or very low), health care utilization, and self-reported health among cancer survivors. Analyzed health care utilization measures included cost-related medication underuse (CRMU), cost-related delayed care, cost-related forgone care, seeing/talking to a medical specialist, seeing/talking to a general doctor, and overnight hospital stay. Results: A higher proportion of Blacks reported very low food security in comparison with Whites (10.58% vs 4.24%; P ≤.0001). Blacks were significantly less likely to report a medical specialist visit and more likely to report fair/poor health in the past 12 months even after adjustments for FSS. There was a dose-response relationship between FSS and CRMU, cost-related delayed care, cost-related forgone care, overnight hospital stay, and self-reported health status for both Whites and Blacks. Conclusions: Significant disparities in health care utilization and self-reported health across race and FSS persist among cancer survivors. Interventions that target food insecurity have the potential to reduce suboptimal health care utilization and self-reported health among cancer survivors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4620-4627
Number of pages8
JournalCancer
Volume127
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 15 2021

Keywords

  • cancer survivors
  • food insecurity
  • health care utilization
  • racial disparities
  • self-reported health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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