Article Critique of 'Race and Ethnicity and Breast Cancer Outcomes in an Underinsured Population'

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In their article entitled "Race and Ethnicity and Breast Cancer Outcomes in an Underinsured Population" (2010), Komeneka et al. retrospectively examined a group of uninsured and underinsured breast cancer patients in order to determine whether there were statistically significant differences in breast cancer survival rates between African-American and non-Hispanic white women of similar underinsured status. The authors determined that the previous literature concerning differences in breast cancer according to race did not sufficiently take into account equal access to healthcare. To eliminate the variable of access to healthcare, the researchers limited their participants to those who were either uninsured or underinsured at the time of diagnosis. They also controlled for disparities in treatment by selecting patients who had been treated at one hospital by the same physicians using the same diagnostic methods. The authors found that, while there was a statistically significant decrease in breast cancer-related survival among African American women as compared to non-Hispanic white women in the study, this difference became statistically insignificant when age at diagnosis, clinical stage, hormone receptor status, and sociodemographic factors such as employment and education were taken into account. They concluded that the statistically significant difference in breast-cancer related outcomes between underinsured African American and non-Hispanic white women could be

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