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Sociodemographic disparities in survival for adolescents and young adults with cancer differ by health insurance status.

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To investigate associations of sociodemographic factors-race/ethnicity, neighborhood socioeconomic status (SES), and health insurance-with survival for adolescents and young adults (AYAs) with invasive cancer.


Data on 80,855 AYAs with invasive cancer diagnosed in California 2001-2011 were obtained from the California Cancer Registry. We used multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression to estimate overall survival.


Associations of public or no insurance with greater risk of death were observed for 11 of 12 AYA cancers examined. Compared to Whites, Blacks experienced greater risk of death, regardless of age or insurance, while greater risk of death among Hispanics and Asians was more apparent for younger AYAs and for those with private/military insurance. More pronounced neighborhood SES disparities in survival were observed among AYAs with private/military insurance, especially among younger AYAs.


Lacking or having public insurance was consistently associated with shorter survival, while disparities according to race/ethnicity and neighborhood SES were greater among AYAs with private/military insurance. While health insurance coverage associates with survival, remaining racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities among AYAs with cancer suggest additional social factors also need consideration in intervention and policy development.

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