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Medicaid Expansion Contributing to Earlier Cancer Diagnosis

Cancer diagnosis earlier for low-income adults with screening-amenable cancers following Medicaid expansion

MONDAY, July 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Among low-income adults, the odds of being diagnosed with metastatic breast, cervical, colorectal, or lung cancers decreased following Medicaid expansion in Ohio, according to a study published online July 6 in Cancer.

Uriel Kim, from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, and colleagues used state cancer registry data linked to block group-level income data to identify 12,760 individuals (aged 30 to 64 years) diagnosed with incident invasive breast (female), cervical, colorectal, or lung cancer (2011 through 2016); participants were either uninsured or had Medicaid insurance at the time of diagnosis.

The researchers found that after adjusting for potential confounders, individuals who were diagnosed after Medicaid expansion had lower odds of having metastatic disease versus those who were diagnosed before expansion (adjusted odds ratio, 0.85; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.77 to 0.93). Individuals with private insurance who resided in high-income communities had nonsignificant changes before versus after expansion (adjusted odds ratio, 1.02; 95 percent confidence interval, 0.96 to 1.09).

“These improvements represent substantial progress in closing a persistent gap in cancer survival between Americans with high and low income,” Kim said in a statement.

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