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Member Research & Reports

Member Research & Reports

Association between Access to Healthcare and Colorectal Outcomes Studied by UAB

Dr. Tomi Akinyemiju, assistant professor in the department of epidemiology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, recently led a team—including department colleagues Dr. John W. Waterbor, associate professor, and Mr. Justin X. Moore, pre-doctoral fellow; as well as Dr. Maria Pisu, associate professor in UAB’s division of preventive medicine—in a cross-sectional study that sought to ascertain if access to local medical resources impacted the stage at diagnosis, treatment administered, and rate of survival of colorectal cancer (CRC). Using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program, the researchers examined data from 9,162 non-Hispanic Black and 97,264 non-Hispanic White patients, and assessed variables pertaining to socio-demographic, clinical, and county-level healthcare.


[Photo: Dr. Tomi Akinyemiju]

Residing in counties having fewer oncology hospitals was linked to increased odds of receiving late-stage diagnosis (odds ratio [OR] 1.09; 95 percent confidence interval [CI] 1.04–1.14); reduced odds of receiving surgery (OR 0.83; 95 percent CI 0.74–0.92); and higher chances of death (hazard rate [HR] 1.09; 95 percent CI 1.06–1.12) among non-Hispanic Whites patients. However, Dr. Akinyemiju discovered, “there were no significant associations among non-Hispanic Black patients. Future studies are required to better understand healthcare utilization patterns in neighborhoods with non-Hispanic Blacks and to identify other important dimensions of healthcare access, such as affordability, acceptability and accommodation.”

“Availability of Healthcare Resources and Colorectal Cancer Outcomes Among Non-Hispanic White and Non-Hispanic Black Adults” was published in October in the Journal of Community Health.

Journal article: