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Parental Cancer History Tied to Unmet Economic Needs in Children

Findings show significant risk of food insecurity, paying bills, and lack of transportation

By Lori Solomon HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, June 23, 2023 (HealthDay News) — Children with a parental history of cancer are more likely to face unmet economic needs, according to a study published online June 22 in JAMA Network Open.

Zhiyuan Zheng, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the U.S. National Health Interview Survey (2013 to 2018) to examine associations of parental cancer with their children’s unmet economic needs. Analysis included 812 children with and 22,129 without parental cancer history.

The researchers found that parental cancer history was associated with more severe family-level food insecurity, including worrying about food running out (odds ratio [OR], 1.97), food not lasting (OR, 2.01), and inability to afford balanced meals (OR, 1.38). Similarly, parental cancer history was associated with parent’s worry about paying monthly bills (OR, 1.41) and housing-related costs (OR, 1.31). Parental cancer history was also associated with higher risk for delays in child medical care because of lack of transportation (OR, 2.31). Unmet economic needs among children with parental cancer history were particularly high for female children, non-Hispanic Black children, children whose parents had multiple comorbidities, and children living in low-income families.

“These findings suggest that strategies to identify children with a parental cancer history and address their unmet economic needs are warranted,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text


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