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Co-Occurrence of Diabetes and Breast Cancer Among Women by Ethnicity

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Final rept. 15 Jul 2004-14 Feb 2006

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Health disparities are a source of concern for people at high risk of life-threatening diseases, and many public health agencies, both public and private. Consequently, elimination of these disparities has become a top priority for the nation as a whole. Over the last 30 years AA women have experienced a substantial increase in breast cancer deaths while EA women have experienced a substantial decline in deaths. The research indicates that later screening and poorer access to care can only partially explain these differences. Thus there is still much to be learned in this area. Recent research has shown a link between adult onset diabetes and breast cancer, but no research has examined this relationship in the context of ethnic disparities. We propose to utilize state Medicaid data to examine the association of diabetes and breast cancer among European American EA and African American AA women. We will first determine the percentage of AA and EA women with breast cancer among those diagnosed with and without diabetes. We will then determine the risk of developing breast cancer for EA and AA women among those with and without diabetes. With AA women ultimately bearing a disproportionately higher disease burden, it is imperative that we act quickly and thoughtfully to understand these ethnic differences with the ultimate goal being formulation of ethnic-appropriate public health policy and messages aimed at successful prevention and control. This research seeks to address an area of need that has been woefully neglected in the past.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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