We investigated the association between socioeconomic position, stage at diagnosis, and length of period between referral and diagnosis in a nationwide cohort of lung cancer patients.
Through the Danish Lung Cancer Register, we identified 18,103 persons diagnosed with lung cancer (small cell and non-small cell) in Denmark, 2001-2008, and obtained information on socioeconomic position and comorbidity from nationwide administrative registries. The odds ratio (OR) for a diagnosis of advanced-stage lung cancer (stages IIIB-IV) and for a diagnosis >28 days after referral were analysed by multivariate logistic regression models.
The adjusted OR for advanced-stage lung cancer was reduced among persons with higher education (OR, 0.92; 95% confidence interval (CI), 0.84-0.99), was increased in persons living alone (OR, 1.06; 95% CI, 1.01-1.13) and decreased stepwise with increasing comorbidity. Higher education was associated with a reduced OR for >28 days between referral and diagnosis as was high income in early-stage patients. Male gender, age and severe comorbidity were associated with increased ORs in advanced-stage patients.
Differences by socioeconomic position in stage at diagnosis and in the period between referral and diagnosis indicate that vulnerable patients presenting with lung cancer symptoms require special attention.
Cites: Health Serv Res. 2007 Apr;42(2):611-2817362209