Annals of Surgical Oncology

, Volume 20, Issue 11, pp 3363–3369 | Cite as

Interaction Between Age and Race Alters Predicted Survival in Colorectal Cancer

  • Uma R. Phatak
  • Lillian S. Kao
  • Stefanos G. Millas
  • Rebecca L. Wiatrek
  • Tien C. Ko
  • Curtis J. Wray
Healthcare Policy and Outcomes



Racial disparities in colorectal cancer persist. Late stage at presentation and lack of stage-specific treatment may be contributing factors. We sought to evaluate the magnitude of disparity remaining after accounting for gender, stage, and treatment using predicted survival models.


We used institutional tumor registries from a public health system (two hospitals) and a not-for-profit health system (nine hospitals) from 1995 to 2011. Demographics, stage at diagnosis, treatment, and survival were recorded. Hazard ratios (HRs) and predicted HRs were determined by Cox regression and postestimation analyses.


There were 6,990 patients: 55.7 % white, 23.6 % African American, 15.1 % Hispanic, and 5.6 % Asian/other. Predictors of survival were surgery (HR 0.57, 95 % confidence interval [CI] 0.46–0.70), chemotherapy (HR 0.7, 95 % CI 0.62–0.79), female gender (HR 0.87, 95 % CI 0.83–0.90), age (HR 1.04, 95 % CI 1.03–1.05), and African American race (HR 3.6, 95 % CI 1.5–8.4). Balancing for stage, gender, and treatment reduced the predicted HRs for African Americans by 28 % and Hispanics by 17 %. In this model, African American and Hispanics still had the worst predicted HRs at younger ages, but whites had the worst predicted HR after age 75.


Gender, stage, and treatment partially accounted for worsened survival in African Americans and Hispanics at all ages. At younger ages, race-related disparities remained which may reflect tumor biology or other unknown factors. Once gender, stage, and treatment are balanced at older ages, the increased mortality observed in whites may be due to factors such as comorbidities. Further system- and patient-level study is needed to investigate reasons for colorectal cancer survival disparities.


Racial Disparity African American Patient African American Race Health Care Disparity Harris County 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



Funded in part through an American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons Research Foundation Resident Initiation Grant (URP).


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Copyright information

© Society of Surgical Oncology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Uma R. Phatak
    • 1
    • 2
  • Lillian S. Kao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Stefanos G. Millas
    • 1
  • Rebecca L. Wiatrek
    • 1
  • Tien C. Ko
    • 1
  • Curtis J. Wray
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of SurgeryUniversity of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Center for Surgical Trials and Evidence-based Practice, University of Texas Health Science CenterHoustonUSA

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