Health Insurance Coverage and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in US Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Survival

Xiaoyan Wang, Derek S. Brown, Yin Cao, Christine C. Ekenga, Shenyang Guo, Kimberly J. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Objective: To evaluate potential effect modification by health insurance coverage on racial and ethnic disparities in cancer survival among US children and adolescents. Study design: Data from 54 558 individuals diagnosed with cancer at ≤ 19 years between 2004 and 2010 were obtained from the National Cancer Database. Cox proportional hazards regression was used for analyses. An interaction term between race/ethnicity and health insurance type was included to examine racial/ethnic disparities in survival by each insurance status category. Results: Racial/ethnic minorities experienced a 14%-42% higher hazard of death compared with non-Hispanic Whites (NHWs) with magnitudes varying by health insurance type (Pinteraction <.001). Specifically, among those reported as privately insured, the hazard of death was higher for non-Hispanic Blacks (NHBs) (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.48, 95% CI: 1.36-1.62), non-Hispanic American Indian/Alaskan Natives (HR = 1.99, 95% CI: 1.36-2.90), non-Hispanic Asians or Pacific Islanders (HR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.13-1.50), and Hispanics (HR = 1.28, 95% CI: 1.17-1.40) vs NHWs. Racial/ethnic disparities in survival among those reported as covered by Medicaid were present for NHBs (HR = 1.30, 95% CI: 1.19-1.43) but no other racial/ethnic minorities (HR ranges: 0.98∼1.00) vs NHWs. In the uninsured group, the hazard of death for NHBs (HR = 1.68, 95% CI: 1.26-2.23) and Hispanics (HR = 1.27, 95% CI: 1.01-1.61) was higher vs NHWs. Conclusions: Disparities in survival exist across insurance types, particularly for NHB childhood and adolescent cancer patients vs NHWs with private insurance. These findings provide insights for research and policy, and point to the need for more efforts on promoting health equity while improving health insurance coverage.

Original languageEnglish
Article number113378
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • adolescent
  • health care disparities
  • neoplasm
  • pediatric
  • survival


Dive into the research topics of 'Health Insurance Coverage and Racial/Ethnic Disparities in US Childhood and Adolescent Cancer Survival'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this