Socioeconomic Status Accounted for Survival Difference in Hispanic, Non-Hispanic Myeloma Patients

Socioeconomic status (SES) accounted for disparities in survival time between Hispanic and non-Hispanic White patients with multiple myeloma (MM), according to a poster at the 2021 American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting.

Jing Dong, PhD, of Medical College of Wisconsin, presented data from a study of 1,591 Hispanic and 20,831 non-Hispanic White (NHW) patients aged 65 or older diagnosed with MM from 1999-217 in the SEER-Medicare database. Four sets of NHW patients were matched to the set of Hispanic patients based on demographics, SES, presentation, and treatment.

Data showed that Hispanic patients were younger, more likely to be female, to have low SES, and less likely to be married at diagnosis. Hispanic patients had more comorbidities but were less likely to receive stem cell transplant (4.0% vs. 5.3%; P<0.05).

During study follow-up, 76.5% of Hispanic patients and 79.1% of NHW patients died. Hispanic patients had a significantly shorter median survival compared with NHW (30.0 vs. 37.0 months; P=0.004). After matching for SES, the difference in median survival was no longer significant.

Additionally, the absolute difference in 5-year survival between Hispanic patients and NHW patients was significant at 3.6%, but again, after matching for SES this difference was reduced to 2.2% and was no longer statistically significant.

Finally, Dong and colleagues found that among those with low SES, NHWs still had longer median survival (30.0 vs. 26.0 months; P=0.06) and better 5-year survival (28.4% vs. 25.5%) compared with Hispanic patients. However, at the high SES, NHW and Hispanic patients experienced similar survival across demographics, presentation and treatment match.

While SES is an important prognostic factor of MM, additional social, clinical, and biological factors also need to be investigated to understand the mechanisms underlying survival disparities in patients with low SES, so proper interventions and policy development could be implemented, Dong said.