Associations of demographic and socioeconomic factors with stage at diagnosis of breast cancer
Mohammad Esmail Akbari
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Background: Stage at diagnosis is one of the most important prognostic factors of breast cancer survival. Because in the breast cancer case this may vary with socioeconomic characteristics, this study was performed to recognize the relationship between demographic and socioeconomic factors with stage at diagnosis in Iran. Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional, descriptive study conducted on 526 patients suffering from breast cancer and registered in Cancer Research Center of Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences from 2008 to 2013. A reliable and valid questionnaire about family levels of socioeconomic status filled in by interviewing the patients via phone. For analyzing the data, Multinomial logistic regression, Kendal tau-b correlation coefficient and Contingency Coefficient tests were executed by SPSS22. Economic status, educational attainment of patient and household head and/or a combination of these were considered as parameters for socioeconomic status. First, the relationship between stage at diagnosis and demographic and socioeconomic status was assessed in univariate analysis then these relationships assessed in two different models of multinomial logistic regression. Results: The mean age of the patients was 48.3 (SD=11.4). According to the results of this study, there were significant relationships between stage at diagnosis of breast cancer with patient education (p=0.011), living place (p=0.044) and combined socioeconomic status (p=0.024). These relationships persisted in multiple multinomial logistic regressions. Other variables, however, had no significant correlation. Conclusions: Patient education, combined socioeconomic status and living place are important variables in stage at diagnosis of breast cancer in Iranian women. Interventions have to be applied with the aim of raising women's accessibility to diagnostic and medical facilities and also awareness in order to reducing delay in referring. In addition, covering breast cancer screening services by insurance is recommended.