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An Analysis on the Effect of Income Changes in the Resection of Early-Stage Pancreatic Adenocarcinoma.

American Surgeon 2024 May 32
INTRODUCTION: The impact of socioeconomic inequalities on cancer care and outcomes has been well recognized and the underlying causes are likely multifactorial. Income is regarded as a cornerstone of socioeconomic status and has been assumed to correlate with access to care. We therefore sought to investigate whether income and changes in income would affect the rate of patients undergoing surgical resection for early-stage pancreatic cancer.

METHODS: Inflation-adjusted income data were obtained from the United States Census Bureau from 2010 to 2019. The cancer data were obtained from the SEER database. Counties present in both data sets were included in the analysis. Patients with stage I or II pancreatic cancer who underwent formal resection were deemed to have undergone appropriate surgical management. Patients were grouped into an early (2010-2014) and late (2015-2019) time period.

RESULTS: The final analysis included 23968 patients from 173 counties across 11 states. The resection rate was 45.1% for the entire study and rose from 42.8% to 47.4% from the early to late time periods ( P < .001). The median change in income between the two time periods was an increase by $2387. The rate of resection was not dependent on income class or income change in our study population.

CONCLUSION: Our surgical care of pancreatic cancer is improving with more patients undergoing resection. In addition, there are now fewer disparities between patients of lower-income and higher-income groups with respect to receiving surgical intervention. This implies that our access to care has improved over the past decade. This is an encouraging finding with regards to reducing health care disparities.

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