The social network.
Intriguing data has pointed to sociological—not biological—differences as explanations for disparate prostate cancer outcomes across races. This meta-analysis of 25 studies specifically looked at whether the way in which “social determinants of health” (SDOH) were addressed impacted reported disparities in prostate cancer mortality across race. SDOH is defined by the CDC as ““conditions in the places where people live, learn, work and play that affect a wide range of health and quality-of-life-risk and outcomes.” It makes sense this would impact a disease that is often treated with medications spanning years. As we’ve seen before, the five studies that did not account for SDOH reported a significantly higher prostate cancer specific mortality among Black men (HR 1.29). Conversely, the 5 studies that most accounted for SDOH reported a significantly lower prostate cancer specific mortality among Black men (HR 0.86), again suggesting that “when access to care is equal and treatment is standardized for all patients, Black men have similar or better prostate cancer outcomes.”
- Vince, JAMA Netw Open 2023