Geographic socioeconomic status, race, and advanced-stage breast cancer in New York City

Sharon Stein Merkin, Lori Stevenson, Neil Powe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

96 Scopus citations


Objectives. This study examined the association between a residential area's socioeconomic status (SES), race, and advanced-stage breast cancer in New York City. Methods. The cross-sectional study design used breast cancer information for 37 921 cases diagnosed in New York City from 1986 to 1995. Residential education and income levels were based on the 1990 census and ascribed to each case by zip code. Associations between race, area SES, and advanced-stage breast cancer stage, and the interaction between race and SES, were evaluated in bivariate and multivariate analyses. Results. After adjusting for age and year at diagnosis, living in areas with lower levels of education and income increased the odds of presenting with advanced-stage breast cancer by 50% for Black women and by 75% for White women. No significant qualitative interaction was present between area SES and race. Conclusions. This study confirmed independent racial and socioeconomic differences in the risk of advanced-stage breast cancer in a large and diverse population. The results emphasize the need to improve screening practices and clinical treatment in both high-risk populations and high-risk geographic areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)64-70
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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