Do lifestyle or social factors explain ethnic/racial inequalities in breast cancer survival?
McKenzie, Fiona and Jeffreys, Mona (2009) Do lifestyle or social factors explain ethnic/racial inequalities in breast cancer survival? Epidemiologic reviews, 31. pp. 52-66.
MetadataShow full item record
Despite numerous studies documenting ethnic inequalities in breast cancer survival between minority and majority ethnic groups worldwide, reasons for these inequalities remain unclear. The authors performed a systematic review of published literature to identify studies that investigated the explanatory power of smoking, alcohol consumption, body mass index (BMI), and socioeconomic position (SEP) on ethnic inequalities in breast cancer survival. Sixteen studies were included in the review. From 5 studies, the authors found that differences in breast cancer survival between ethnic groups may be in part explained by BMI, but there was little evidence to implicate smoking or alcohol consumption as explanatory factors of this inequality. From 12 studies, the authors found that SEP explains part of the ethnic inequality in all-cause survival but that it was not evident for breast-cancer-specific survival. SEP explains more of the disparities among African-American versus white women in the United States compared with other ethnic comparisons. Furthermore, given social patterning of BMI and other lifestyle habits, it is possible that results for SEP and BMI are measuring the same effect. In this review, the authors make suggestions regarding the role of epidemiology in facilitating further research to better inform the development of effective policies to address ethnic differences in survival.