Assessing social vulnerabilities of salivary gland cancer care, prognosis, and treatment in the United States

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Head and Neck


Background: Salivary gland cancers (SGC)-social determinants of health (SDoH) investigations are limited by narrow scopes of SGC-types and SDoH. This Social Vulnerability Index (SVI)-study hypothesized that socioeconomic status (SES) most contributed to SDoH-associated SGC-disparities. Methods: Retrospective cohort of 24 775 SGCs assessed SES, minority-language status (ML), household composition (HH), housing-transportation (HT), and composite-SDoH measured by the SVI via regressions with surveillance and survival length, late-staging presentation, and treatment (surgery, radio-, chemotherapy) receipt. Results: Increasing social vulnerability showed decreases in surveillance/survival; increased odds of advanced-presenting-stage (OR: 1.12, 95% CI: 1.07, 1.17), chemotherapy receipt (OR: 1.13, 95% CI: 1.03, 1.23); decreased odds of primary surgery (0.89, 0.84, 0.94), radiotherapy (0.91, 0.85, 0.97, p = 0.003) for SGCs. Trends were differentially correlated with SES, ML, HH, and HT-vulnerabilities. Conclusions: Through quantifying SDoH-derived SGC-disparities, the SVI can guide targeted initiatives against SDoH that elicit the most detrimental associations for specific sociodemographics.

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