Insurance Disparities Impact Survival in MM

Insurance status was associated with survival among patients with multiple myeloma (MM), according to new study results published in Leukemia Research.

The 2007–2016 Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program database was used to identify patients with MM, who were stratified by insurance status: uninsured, Medicaid, private insurance, and other insurance. One- and five-year cancer-specific survival was determined.

A total of 41,846 patients with MM were identified in the SEER database. Patients with private insurance had a higher proportion of patients who were married (65.5%), who lived in metropolitan cities (90.1%), and who identified as white (76%) and as non-Hispanic (90.8%). Compared to other insurance groups, the uninsured group had the highest proportion of Black patients (37.4%). In adjusted analyses (accounting for age, sex, race, ethnicity, marital status, and residence), patients with Medicaid insurance, compared to private insurance, had lower five-year survival (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.44). Similarly, patients who were uninsured, compared to those with private insurance, had a 26% increased hazard for mortality.

“After adjustment, insurance status can influence the survival of adults with MM. As treatment modalities for MM continue to advance, the insurance status of a patient should not hinder their ability to receive the most effective and timely therapies,” the study authors wrote in their conclusion.