The impact of health insurance status on the stage of cervical cancer diagnosis at a tertiary care center in Massachusetts

Publication date: July 2018
Source:Gynecologic Oncology, Volume 150, Issue 1
Author(s): Michelle Davis, Kyle Strickland, Sarah Rae Easter, Michael Worley, Colleen Feltmate, Michael Muto, Neil Horowitz, Ross Berkowitz, Sarah Feldman
ObjectiveTo evaluate the impact of insurance status on the stage of cervical cancer diagnosed and treated at a tertiary care center in Massachusetts and review the preceding screening history.MethodsAn IRB approved retrospective cohort study was conducted of patients with a diagnosis of cervical cancer treated at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) between January 2011 and June 2016. Clinical and demographic data was extracted from the longitudinal medical record. Statistical analysis was performed using SAS.Results117 cases of cervical cancer met the inclusion criteria during the study period. Most patients (76%) were diagnosed with stage I disease. On univariate analysis, compared to patients with private insurance, patients with public insurance or no documented insurance presented at older ages, were more likely to be non-white races, and present with advanced stage disease. In an adjusted model, the risk of being diagnosed with advanced stage disease persisted among women with public or no documented insurance, adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 4.13 (1.37–12.45). There was no difference in screening history among women with private vs. public insurance, p = 0.30.ConclusionsDespite access to insurance, patients with public issued insurance had an increased risk of presenting with advanced stage cervical cancer in this cohort. These data suggest that additional barriers to screening and prevention may exist and are important for future investigation.