J Racial Ethn Health Disparities 2016 09 20;3(3):546-54. Epub 2015 Oct 20.
Cancer Prevention & Control Program, University of South Carolina, 915 Greene Street, Columbia, SC, 29208, USA.
Background: In South Carolina, the co-occurrence of diabetes mellitus (DM) and breast cancer (BrCA) is much more prevalent among African American populations than among European American populations. The underlying relationship between diabetes and breast cancer may influence breast cancer survival. The purpose of this investigation is to examine the effect of diabetes on developing breast cancer and to reduce racial disparities in breast cancer outcomes.
Methods: Study participants included women of European American (EA) and African American (AA) ethnicity from both the Medicaid ICD-9 designations and the South Carolina Central Cancer Registry (SCCCR). A historical prospective cohort design was used to determine the risk of developing breast cancer among women of different ethnicities with and without DM. The chi-square test was used to determine the significance of the association; the logistic model was used to assess the relationship between breast cancer and other factors among EA and AA women.
Results: Menopause may have protective properties for AA compared to EA women. AA women have twice the odds of not surviving from each breast cancer stage compared to EA women with respect to their breast cancer stage. Adherence to diabetes medication may contribute to lower breast cancer death in EA.
Conclusion: This study illustrates the discrepancy between EA and AA women in terms of breast cancer survival. AA women bear a higher disease burden than EA women. To create ethnic-appropriate public health policies, it is imperative that we understand the effect of comorbidities on breast cancer and how we can prevent them from occurring.