National estimates of racial disparities in health status and behavioral risk factors among long-term cancer survivors and non-cancer controls

Mario Schootman, Anjali D. Deshpande, Sandi L. Pruitt, Rebecca Aft, Donna B. Jeffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

23 Scopus citations


Objective: We examined racial disparities (White, African American, and other race) in health status (self-rated health, lower-body functional limitations, psychological distress, and body mass index [BMI]) and behaviors (smoking, alcohol use, and physical activity) of long-term cancer survivors (≥5 years) when compared to non-cancer controls. Methods: Using 2005-2007 National Health Interview Survey data, we computed adjusted prevalence estimates of health status and behaviors for all six groups, controlling for sociodemographic factors, medical-care access, or presence of other chronic conditions. Results: The sample included 2,762 (3.6%) survivors and 73,059 controls. Adjusted prevalence estimates for each race were higher for long-term survivors than controls in terms of having fair-poor self-rated health, ≥1 limitation, psychological distress, and higher BMI but were similar between survivors and controls in terms of physical activity, smoking, and alcohol use. Adjusted prevalence estimates for having fair-poor self-rated health were higher for African American survivors than white survivors, lower for psychological distress, physical activity and alcohol use, and similar for smoking and BMI. Conclusion: With the exception of smoking and limitations, racial differences existed among survivors for all health-status and behavioral measures. Clinicians may play a key role in helping to reduce disparities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1387-1395
Number of pages9
JournalCancer Causes and Control
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010



  • Behavior
  • Cancer survivor
  • Disparity
  • Quality of life
  • Race

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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