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Association Between Residence in Historically Redlined Districts Indicative of Structural Racism and Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Breast Cancer Outcomes. JAMA Netw Open 2022 Jul 01;5(7):e2220908



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2-s2.0-85133964112 (requires institutional sign-in at Scopus site)   4 Citations


IMPORTANCE: Historical structural racism may be associated with racial, ethnic, and geographic disparities in breast cancer outcomes, but few studies have investigated these potential relationships.

OBJECTIVE: To test associations among historical mortgage lending discrimination (using 1930s Home Owners' Loan Corporation [HOLC] redlining data), race and ethnicity, tumor clinicopathologic features, and survival among women recently diagnosed with breast cancer.

DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: This cohort study used a population-based, state cancer registry to analyze breast tumor clinicopathology and breast cancer-specific death among women diagnosed from 2008 to 2017 and followed up through 2019. Participants included all primary, histologically confirmed, invasive breast cancer cases diagnosed among women aged at least 20 years and who resided in a HOLC-graded area of New Jersey. Those missing race and ethnicity data (n = 61) were excluded. Data were analyzed between June and December 2021.

EXPOSURES: HOLC risk grades of A ("best"), B ("still desirable"), C ("definitely declining"), and D ("hazardous" [ie, redlined area]).

MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: Late stage at diagnosis, high tumor grade, triple-negative subtype (lacking estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 expression), breast cancer-specific death.

RESULTS: Among a total of 14 964 women with breast cancer, 2689 were Latina, 3506 were non-Latina Black, 7686 were non-Latina White, and 1083 were other races and ethnicities (non-Latina Asian/Pacific Islander/Native American/Alaska Native/Hawaiian or not otherwise specified); there were 1755 breast cancer-specific deaths. Median follow-up time was 5.3 years (95% CI, 5.2-5.3 years) and estimated 5-year breast cancer-specific survival was 88.0% (95% CI, 87.4%-88.6%). Estimated associations between HOLC grade and each breast cancer outcome varied by race and ethnicity; compared with residence in HOLC redlined areas, residence in HOLC areas graded "best" was associated with lower odds of late-stage diagnosis (odds ratio [OR], 0.34 [95% CI, 0.22-0.53]), lower odds of high tumor grade (OR, 0.72 [95% CI, 0.57-0.91]), lower odds of triple-negative subtype (OR, 0.67 [95% CI, 0.47-0.95]), and lower hazard of breast cancer-specific death (hazard ratio, 0.48 [95% CI, 0.35-0.65]), but only among non-Latina White women. There was no evidence supporting associations among non-Latina Black or Latina women.

CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Compared with redlined areas, current residence in non-redlined areas was associated with more favorable breast cancer outcomes, but only among non-Latina White women. Future studies should examine additional factors to inform how historical structural racism could be associated with beneficial cancer outcomes among privileged racial and ethnic groups.

Author List

Plascak JJ, Beyer K, Xu X, Stroup AM, Jacob G, Llanos AAM


Kirsten M. Beyer PhD, MPH Associate Professor in the Institute for Health and Equity department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Breast Neoplasms
Cohort Studies