Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin identify link between mortgage bias and cancer survival


Researchers from the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW) have identified a link between contemporary redlining, mortgage bias based on property location, and mortality after breast cancer diagnosis in older women in the United States .

The results, recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, show that women residing in areas more strongly marked in red have lower survival rates, after controlling for disease and demographic factors. This is the first national study to examine the relationship between current mortgage bias and cancer survival.

The researchers found that the red line differed by race and ethnicity with 79% of non-Hispanic black women and 57% of Hispanic women living in areas marked in red, compared to 34% of non-Hispanic white women. Among the 27,516 women with breast cancer, those residing in the areas most marked in red experienced poorer survival as a function of all-cause mortality and specific to breast cancer, after control of the disease and demographic factors.

Research has shed light on the upstream effects of discrimination on persistent health disparities for those confronted with a cancer diagnosis.

“Structural racism is clearly an upstream driver of disparities linked to cancer. Mortgage bias is a form of bias that has provoked and reinforced racial segregation patterns in the United States, with many implications for health and well-being, particularly among people of color, ”said Kirsten Beyer, PhD, MPH, MS, partner. Professor in the Epidemiology Division of the Institute for Health & Equity at MCW and Member of the MCW Cancer Center.

According to the MCW study, which received a grant from the National Cancer Institute, the relationship between redlining and survival could have various explanations, including more limited access to health care and other resources, aspects of housing stability , safety and affordability, experiences of discrimination. , environmental exposures, the built environment, economic opportunities and socio-economic deprivation.

“We are conducting ongoing research to understand how structural racism contributes to health disparities so that we can influence policies and practices to improve patient care and health outcomes for all,” Beyer added.

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