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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Non-Clinical Medicine - Public Health and Epidemiology - Women's Health

Influence of Primary Care Physician Availability and Socioeconomic Deprivation on Breast Cancer from 1988 to 2008: A Spatio-Temporal Analysis
Published: Friday, April 20, 2012
Author: Lung-Chang Chien et al.

by Lung-Chang Chien, Anjali D. Deshpande, Donna B. Jeffe, Mario Schootman

Background

Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among women in the United States. It is unclear how county-level primary care physician (PCP) availability and socioeconomic deprivation affect the spatial and temporal variation of breast cancer incidence and mortality.

Methods

We used the 1988–2008 public-use county-based data from nine Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) programs to analyze the temporal and spatial disparity of PCP availability and socioeconomic deprivation on early-stage incidence, advanced-stage incidence and breast cancer mortality. The spatio-temporal analysis was implemented by a novel structural additive modeling approach.

Results

Greater PCP availability was significantly associated with higher early-stage incidence, advanced-stage incidence and mortality during the entire study period while socioeconomic deprivation was significantly negatively associated with early-stage incidence, advanced-stage incidence, and mortality up to 1992. However, the observed influence of PCP availability and socioeconomic deprivation varied by county.

Conclusions

We showed important associations of PCP availability and socioeconomic deprivation with the three breast cancer indicators. However, the effect of these associations varied over time and across counties. The association of PCP availability and socioeconomic deprivation was stronger in selected counties.

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