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Although health disparities are often studied with regard to race and ethnicity, there are also disparities present between native and foreign-born women. This study, published in Annals of Epidemiology, focused on the timing of breast cancer diagnosis for these two groups. The researchers hypothesized that immigrant women would be less likely to be diagnosed at a localized stage.

A meta-analysis of published articles included 11 studies from six countries that provided valuable data detailing breast cancer stage at diagnosis by birthplace. Random effects models were used to pool odds ratios. Ultimately, it was found that foreign-born women were 12% less likely to be diagnosed with localized breast cancer than native women. Immigrants from developed nations exhibited the least disparities.

The researchers concluded that their study provides further evidence that breast cancer diagnostic timing is disparate based on nativity. The significance of the disparity varies in proportion to the region and economic conditions of an immigrant’s birthplace [1].


[1] Herbach, E. L., Weeks, K. S., O’Rorke, M., Novak, N. L., & Schweizer, M. L. (2021). Disparities in breast cancer stage at diagnosis between immigrant and native-born women: a meta-analysis. Annals of Epidemiology, 54, 64–72.e7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annepidem.2020.09.005

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