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Frontiers in Public Health


Delayed surgery is associated with worse lung cancer outcomes. Social determinants can influence health disparities. This study aimed to examine the potential racial disparity and the effects from social determinants on receipt of timely surgery among lung cancer patients in Louisiana, a southern state in the U.S. White and black stage I–IIIA non-small cell lung cancer patients diagnosed in Louisiana between 2004 and 2016, receiving surgical lobectomy or a more extensive surgery, were selected. Diagnosis-to-surgery interval >6 weeks were considered as delayed surgery. Social determinants included marital status, insurance, census tract level poverty, and census tract level urbanicity. Multivariable logistic regression and generalized multiple mediation analysis were conducted. A total of 3,616 white (78.9%) and black (21.1%) patients were identified. The median time interval from diagnosis to surgery was 27 days in whites and 42 days in blacks (P < 0.0001). About 28.7% of white and 48.4% of black patients received delayed surgery (P < 0.0001). Black patients had almost two-fold odds of receiving delayed surgery than white patients (adjusted odds ratio: 1.91; 95% confidence interval: 1.59–2.30). Social determinants explained about 26% of the racial disparity in receiving delayed surgery. Having social support, private insurance, and living in census tracts with lower poverty level were associated with improved access to timely surgery. The census tract level poverty level a stronger effect on delayed surgery in black patients than in white patients. Tailored interventions to improve the timely treatment in NSCLC patients, especially black patients, are needed in the future.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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