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Dr. Christabel Cheung published in Journal of Cancer Survivorship

Assistant Professor Christabel Cheung and colleagues led by Dr. Michael Roth at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and Dr. Amy Berkman at Duke University School of Medicine have a new paper published in Journal of Cancer Survivorship entitled, "Excess risk of chronic health conditions in Hispanic survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers"


Purpose: There is a growing population of survivors of adolescent and young adult (AYA) cancers (age 15–39 years at diagnosis). Studies in AYA cancer survivors have identified racial and ethnic disparities in long-term outcomes. To understand the extent to which a cancer diagnosis exacerbates pre-existent health disparities within a minoritized population, comparisons should be made to those of the same race or ethnicity without a cancer history.

Methods: Self-reported data from the National Health Interview Survey (2009–2018) were used to identify Hispanic AYA cancer survivors and Hispanic age- and sex-matched controls. SES factors (marital status, income, education, insurance) and prevalence of chronic health conditions were compared between groups using chi-square tests. The log-odds of chronic conditions were modeled by survey-weighted logistic regression with relation to age at survey, sex, marital status, education, family income, and cancer group (control versus cancer), together with interactions between each variable and cancer group (survivors vs. controls).

Results: Five hundred thirty-nine survivors and 5390 controls were included. Compared with controls, survivors were less likely to be married and have family income > 45 K/year, and more likely to be insured and have completed some college. Survivors had higher odds than controls of chronic health conditions (odds ratio (OR): 7.39, p < 0.001 for at least 1 and OR: 4.78, p < 0.001 for 3 or more) including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and hypertension. Female sex, higher educational attainment, and public insurance were each associated with increased odds of chronic conditions in Hispanic AYA survivors.

Conclusions: An AYA cancer diagnosis is associated with poor SES outcomes and increased odds of comorbidities within the Hispanic population.

Implications for Cancer Survivors: Cancer history can exacerbate underlying health disparities. Screening for chronic conditions is especially important in minoritized populations.


Berkman, A.M., Choi, E., Salsman, J.M., Cheung, C.K., Peterson, S.K., Lu, Q., Livingston, J.A., Hildebrandt, M.A.T, Parsons, S.K., Roth, M.E. (2023). Excess risk of chronic health conditions in Hispanic survivors of adolescent and young adult cancers. Journal of Cancer Survivorship.



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