Equity in cancer care must remain top priority in COVID-19 era, beyond, presenters say

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Sumary of Equity in cancer care must remain top priority in COVID-19 era, beyond, presenters say:

  • Inequities in access, delivery Data from the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium have suggested common factors associated with worse COVID-19 outcomes include older age, male sex, smoking status, poor ECOG performance status, presence of comorbidities, hematologic malignancies and active cancer..
  • In a study published in March in Annals of Oncology, Grivas and colleagues gathered data from the consortium on 4,966 patients with COVID-19 and active cancer or a history of cancer..
  • Among the 695 patients who died within 30 days of COVID-19 diagnosis, common risk factors associated with death included older age, male gender, Black race and Hispanic ethnicity..
  • “In addition, obesity, cardiovascular and pulmonary comorbidities, renal disease, diabetes, worse ECOG status and hematologic malignancies were all associated with worse COVID-19 severity..
  • “Of note, and in particular relevance to this panel, is the fact that higher COVID-19 severity was observed among Black and Hispanic people, with higher 30-day mortality among Black patients specifically..
  • Drivers of disparities Racial disparities that have been observed since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic are strikingly similar to the disparities observed in oncology for decades, Sonya Reid, MBBS, MPH, breast oncologist at Vanderbilt University, said during her presentation..
  • “It is well-known that Black patients with cancer have higher mortality rates compared with all other racial and ethnic groups,”.
  • “With this in mind, we chose to evaluate clinical characteristics and outcomes among Black patients with cancer and COVID-19 using the COVID-19 and Cancer Consortium, which is a diverse cohort with upwards of about 20% of Black patients included.”.
  • Reid and colleagues examined data of 3,500 patients — including more than 2,000 white patients and 1,000 Black patients — that showed Black patients had higher COVID-19 disease severity, including higher hospitalization rates, ICU admissions and mechanical ventilation use..
  • “This is in addition to having higher 30-day mortality rates and even after adjusting for clinical and demographic factors,”.
  • As we know, we have seen these disparities in cancer care and now we are now seeing the disparities in COVID-19, and it may be worse.”.
  • “As soon as we know there is inequity in access to quality health care — a key factor contributing to higher levels of underlying health conditions — that increases the risk for severe COVID-19 and mortality,”.
  • Regarding COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy, Reid said it is important to understand and respect that a general mistrust in health care has existed for decades among certain minority communities….

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