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BACKGROUND: Deprivation indices are often used to adjust for socio-economic disparities in health studies. Their role has been partially evaluated for certain population-level cancer outcomes, but examination of their role in ovarian cancer is limited. In this study, we evaluated a range of well-recognized deprivation indices in relation to cancer survival in a cohort of self-identified Black women diagnosed with ovarian cancer. This study aimed to determine if clinical or diagnostic characteristics lie on a mediating pathway between socioeconomic status (SES) and deprivation and ovarian cancer survival in a minority population that experiences worse survival from ovarian cancer.

METHODS: We used mediation analysis to look at the direct and indirect causal effects of deprivation indices with main mediators of the SEER stage at diagnosis and residual disease. The analysis employed Bayesian structural equation models with variable selection. We applied a joint Bayesian structural model for the mediator, including a Weibull mixed model for the vital outcome with deprivation as exposure. We selected modifiers via a Monte Carlo model selection procedure.

RESULTS: The results suggest that high SES-related indices, such as Yost, Kolak urbanicity (URB), mobility (MOB) and SES dimensions, and concentrated disadvantage index (CDI), all have a significant impact on improved survival. In contrast, area deprivation index (ADI)/Singh, and area level poverty (POV) did not have a major impact. In some cases, the indirect effects have very wide credible intervals, so the total effect is not well estimated despite the estimation of the direct effect.

CONCLUSIONS: First, it is clear that commonly used indices such as Yost, or CDI both significantly impact the survival experience of Black women diagnosed with epithelial ovarian cancer. In addition, the Kolak dimension indices (URB, MOB, mixed immigrant: MICA and SES) also demonstrate a significant association, depending on the mediator. Mediation effects differ according to the mediator chosen.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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