Socioeconomic Patient Characteristics Predict Delay in Cancer Diagnosis: A Danish Cohort Study


Show simple item record Hansen, Rikke Pilegaard en_US Olesen, Frede en_US Sørensen, Henrik Toft en_US Sokolowski, Ineta en_US Søndergaard, Jens en_US 2011-12-29T22:39:38Z 2011-12-29T22:39:38Z 2008 en_US 2008-2-28 en_US
dc.identifier.citation Hansen, Rikke Pilegaard, Frede Olesen, Henrik Toft Sørensen, Ineta Sokolowski, Jens Søndergaard. "Socioeconomic patient characteristics predict delay in cancer diagnosis: a Danish cohort study." BMC Health Services Research 8:49. (2008) en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1472-6963 en_US
dc.description.abstract BACKGROUND: Delay in cancer diagnosis may be important for cancer prognosis. Large individual variations in the duration of delay have been observed. This study examines whether patients' socioeconomic characteristics are predictors of long patient-, doctor- and system-related delay in cancer diagnosis. METHODS: Danish population-based cohort study. From September 2004 to September 2005, newly diagnosed cancer patients were enrolled from administrative registries. A total of 467 general practitioners in the County of Aarhus, Denmark, completed questionnaires on 2,212 cancer patients' diagnostic pathways. A total of 1,252 cancer patients filled in questionnaires on their socioeconomic characteristics (e.g. marital status, education, occupation, household income and fortune). Delay was categorised as short or long based on quartiles. Predictors of long delay were assessed in a logistic regression model using odds ratios (ORs) as a proxy of relative risks. RESULTS: In regard to patient delay, retired female patients experienced shorter delays (OR 0.35, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.13 to 0.98) than employed female patients, while female smokers experienced longer delays (OR 2.42, 95%CI 1.21 to 4.85) than female non-smokers. In regard to doctor delay, female patients with a large household fortune experienced shorter delays (OR 0.07, 95%CI 0.01 to 0.45) than economically less privileged female patients. Well-educated men experienced shorter delays (OR 0.40, 95%CI 0.16 to 1.00) than men with short education. Male patients experienced longer doctor delays (OR 2.11, 95%CI 1.11 to 4.02) than women when gender-specific cancers were excluded. In regard to system delay, female patients with a large household fortune experienced shorter delays (OR 0.46, 95%CI 0.21 to 0.99) than economically less privileged women, while female patients with a high alcohol intake experienced longer delays (OR 2.82, 95%CI 1.18 to 6.72) than women with an average intake. CONCLUSION: We found socioeconomic predictors of delay that allow us to hypothesize social inequalities in the distribution of delay, but, in general, only a few socioeconomic variables predicted delay in cancer diagnosis. Future research should examine a broader array of patients' personal characteristics. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Danish Agency for Science Technology and Innovation-the Danish Medical Research Council (22-03-0208); Pharmaceutical Foundation of 1991 (139-2003); Aarhus County Research Fund for the Clinical Developement and Research in General Practice and across the Primary and Secondary Health Care Sectors (4-01-2-02; 4-01-2-5-00, 4-01-3-04) en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.publisher BioMed Central en_US
dc.rights Copyright 2008 Hansen et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. en_US
dc.rights.uri en_US
dc.title Socioeconomic Patient Characteristics Predict Delay in Cancer Diagnosis: A Danish Cohort Study en_US
dc.type article en_US
dc.identifier.doi 10.1186/1472-6963-8-49 en_US
dc.identifier.pubmedid 18307790 en_US
dc.identifier.pmcid 2311301 en_US

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