African-Americans Have Higher Breast Cancer Mortality Because They Start With Poorer Health, Study Suggests

A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that the reason a breast cancer diagnosis is more often fatal for black women than white women is because black women start out with more health problems.

 While 68.8 percent of white women age 65 and over on Medicare survived a breast cancer diagnosis after five years, only 55.9 percent of black women of the same age and insurance demographic were alive five years after being diagnosed with breast cancer, according to the study.

Researchers found that among whites and blacks who were nearly perfect demographic matches, survival rates increased in similarity. This suggests that poorer health among the black women as a population was to blame for reduced mortality, according to the authors.

Data considered was from approximately 15 years of Medicare data from the National Cancer institute. 

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