INTRODUCTION - Few lung cancer studies have focused on lung cancer survival in underserved populations. We conducted a prospective cohort study among 81,697 racially diverse and medically underserved adults enrolled in the Southern Community Cohort Study throughout an 11-state area of the Southeast from March 2002 to September 2009.
METHODS - Using linkages with state cancer registries, we identified 501 incident non-small-cell lung cancer cases. We applied Cox proportional hazards models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for subsequent mortality among black and white participants.
RESULTS - The mean observed follow-up time (the time from diagnosis to death or end of follow-up) was 1.25 years (range, 0-8.3 years) and 75% (n = 376) of cases died during follow-up. More blacks were diagnosed at distant stage than whites (57 versus 45%; p = 0.03). In multivariable analyses adjusted for pack-years of smoking, age, body mass index, health insurance, socioeconomic status and disease stage, the lung cancer mortality HR was higher for men versus women (HR = 1.41; 95% CI, 1.09-1.81) but similar for blacks versus whites (HR = 0.99; 95% CI, 0.74-1.32).
CONCLUSION - These findings suggest that although proportionally more blacks present with distant-stage disease there is no difference in stage-adjusted lung cancer mortality between blacks and whites of similar low socioeconomic status.