Racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities in mortality among women diagnosed with cervical cancer in New York City, 1995-2006

Ann Marie McCarthy, University of Iowa
T. Dumanovsky
K. Visvanathan
A. R. Kahn
M. J. Schymura


BACKGROUND: Though cervical cancer rates have declined due to Pap screening, racial and socioeconomic disparities in cervical cancer incidence and mortality persist. This study assesses the relative impact of race/ethnicity and neighborhood poverty on cervical cancer incidence and mortality in New York City (NYC). METHODS: Invasive cervical cancer cases in NYC from 1995 to 2006 were identified along with demographic and socioeconomic measures. Odds ratios (OR) of late stage diagnosis were estimated using logistic regression. Hazard ratios (HR) of death were calculated using Cox proportional hazards regression. RESULTS: From 1995 to 2006 cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates decreased in NYC, though black and Hispanic women had higher incidence and mortality rates than white women. Puerto Ricans (OR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.20-2.01) and blacks (OR = 1.34, 95% CI = 1.15-1.57) were more likely to be diagnosed with late stage disease than whites. In multivariate analysis, blacks had similar mortality risk (HR 1.07, 95% CI = 0.95-1.20) to whites while Puerto Ricans had increased risk (HR = 1.31, 95% CI = 1.10-1.55), and non-Puerto Rican Hispanics (HR = 0.54, 95% CI = 0.45-0.63) and Asian/PIs (HR = 0.64, 95% CI = 0.52-0.78) had reduced risk. Women living in high poverty neighborhoods had higher mortality than women in higher income neighborhoods (HR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.16-1.52). CONCLUSIONS: Black and Puerto Rican women in NYC are at greatest risk of dying from cervical cancer. Race/ethnicity is predictive of late stage diagnosis, while both race/ethnicity and neighborhood poverty are important predictors of cervical cancer mortality.