Impact of insurance status on the survival of younger patients diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia in the United States

Academic Article


  • BACKGROUND: Survival among patients diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) has significantly improved with the use of all-trans retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide. However, the need for immediate diagnosis and access to specialized care and the cost associated with APL management can potentially act as barriers for disadvantaged patients. The influence of sociodemographic factors on the outcomes of patients with APL remains unclear. METHODS: The authors used the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program to characterize the impact of sociodemographic factors on survival in patients younger than 65 years with APL. RESULTS: The authors identified 1787 cases: 816 who were younger than 40 years and 971 who were 40 years old or older. Insured patients who were younger than 40 years had an improved 5-year overall survival (OS) rate in comparison with patients without insurance. Among patients who were 40 years or older, having insurance (other than Medicaid) was associated with better survival than being a Medicaid beneficiary or being uninsured, whereas patients with Medicaid had improved 5-year OS in comparison with uninsured patients. In a multivariate analysis of patients younger than 40 years, a higher risk of death was associated with being male, being diagnosed in earlier years, and being uninsured. For patients who were 40 years old or older, mortality increased with increasing age and for both Medicaid and uninsured patients in comparison with insured patients. CONCLUSIONS: Despite the high cure rate experienced by patients with APL, patients younger than 65 years without insurance and those 40 years old or older with Medicaid are at a significant disadvantage in comparison with patients with insurance. These findings point to an opportunity to improve survival in APL by addressing access to care.
  • Published In

  • Cancer  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Jamy OH; Godby R; Dhir A; Costa LJ; Xavier AC
  • Start Page

  • 2966
  • End Page

  • 2973
  • Volume

  • 127
  • Issue

  • 16