Healthcare disparities in outcomes of patients with resectable pancreatic cancer

Published:December 10, 2018DOI:


      • When offered, white patients were less likely to refuse pancreatic cancer resection than black patients.
      • Poor socioeconomic status is associated with worse outcome in pancreatic cancer.
      • Impact of race on survival is confounded by income, education, geographic location and tumor features.
      • Identifying disparities is essential to develop targeted interventions to improve outcomes.



      The aim of this study was to evaluate health disparities in the outcomes of patients with resectable pancreatic adenocarcinoma.


      We retrospectively analyzed 280,935 patients from the National Cancer Data Base (NCDB), from 1998 to 2012 to compare the differences in patient characteristics, refusal of offered surgical treatment and overall survival after pancreatic adenocarcinoma resection between white vs. black patients.


      Black patients did not undergo and refused offered surgical treatment more frequently. Race and insurance were the most important factors independently associated with not receiving the offered resection. Having private insurance, Hispanic ethnic background, geographic location, higher income, residing in urban/metropolitan area and systemic treatment were independently associated with improved survival. Race was associated with overall worse survival in an unadjusted model but not in multivariable analysis. The association between race and survival was removed when adjusting for facility location, income, education, tumor size, tumor stage or systemic treatment.


      Disparities exist at various levels in resectable pancreatic cancers. These findings help developing targeted interventions and quality improvement initiatives.


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