Equal opportunity for all? An analysis of race and ethnicity in fertility preservation in New York City

J Assist Reprod Genet. 2020 Oct 21:1-8. doi: 10.1007/s10815-020-01980-7. Online ahead of print.


PURPOSE: To compare the racial and ethnic make-up of patients who accessed medically indicated fertility preservation services (MIFP) against the overall racial diversity (including Hispanic origin) across women of reproductive age diagnosed with cancer in New York City (NYC).

METHODS: All patients who completed at least one MIFP between January 2017 and December 2018 were reviewed. Race was self-reported. A calculation of the expected racial distribution across women of reproductive age with cancer in NYC was determined using the most recent NYC census data. Statistical analysis included chi-square goodness of fit and test for independence and Kruskal-Wallis H test, with p < 0.05 considered significant.

RESULTS: A total of 107 patients who accessed MIFP were included. A total of 55 (51.4%) identified as White, 3 (2.8%) as Black, 13 (12.2%) as Asian, 6 (5.6%) as Hispanic, 3 (2.8%) as other, and 27 (25.2%) did not report. A total of 78.5% of patients had insurance. There was no significant difference in racial distribution by cancer type (p = 0.255). A subgroup analysis excluding the BRCA+ patients and races not reported by the census (n = 69) was then performed, showing a statistically significant difference between observed (O) and expected (E) cases of fertility preservation (FP) by race at our center-White 47O/32E, Black 3O/15E, Asian 13O/7E, and Hispanic 6O/15E (p < 0.001). A statistically significant difference in racial distribution by FP type was observed.

CONCLUSIONS: There is a difference in the observed vs expected racial distribution of patients accessing MIFP. Further studies are needed to identify modifiable factors to better ensure equal opportunity to all patients.

PMID:33085025 | PMC:PMC7576106 | DOI:10.1007/s10815-020-01980-7