Acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. Social factors such as marital status, insurance status, and income may affect the chances of survival in young patients with AML, revealed a new study.
For the study, the researchers analyzed data from 5,541 patients younger than 65 years. The study findings suggested that AML patients who were single or divorced, patients who were uninsured, and patients who lived in areas with lower income had substantially elevated risks of dying prematurely.
Lead author of the study Uma Borate, assistant professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US, said, "We believe these three factors indicate lack of material and social support preventing young patients from successfully walking the long and difficult road towards a cure."
Senior author Luciano Jose Costa, associate professor at University of Alabama at Birmingham said, "As physicians, we often emphasize more of the biology of the cancer, especially with the recent focus on personalized medicine. But we need to pay the same attention to resources available to our patients, as this greatly impacts their chances to survive leukemia."
The study appeared online in CANCER.