Socioeconomic position and breast reconstruction in Danish women

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UNLABELLED: Few studies have been conducted on the socioeconomic position of women undergoing breast reconstruction, and none have been conducted in the Danish population. We investigated the association between educational level and breast reconstruction in a nationwide cohort of Danish women with breast cancer.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: From nationwide registers, 13 379 women aged 30-80 years who had been treated by mastectomy for breast cancer in Denmark in 1999-2006 were identified and followed up through November 2009. Multivariate logistic regression models were used to investigate the simultaneous influence of educational level on the likelihood of having immediate or delayed (up to three years after mastectomy) breast reconstruction, with adjustment for age, breast cancer characteristics, comorbidity, socioeconomic variables and availability of plastic surgery services at each woman's affiliated hospital.

RESULTS: The odds ratios (ORs) for both immediate and delayed breast reconstruction increased significantly with level of education. Being affiliated to a hospital with a plastic surgery department increased the likelihood of both immediate (adjusted OR, 4.02; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.81-5.75) and delayed breast reconstruction (adjusted OR, 1.41; 95% CI, 1.26-1.66). There was no association between education and breast reconstruction among 30-44 year old women, regardless of type of breast reconstruction; however, medium or higher education was significantly associated with a fourfold increase in the OR for immediate breast reconstruction in women aged 45-59 years and a more than twofold increase in the OR for delayed breast reconstruction in women aged 60-80 years compared to women with short education.

CONCLUSION: Increasing education was associated with increasing odds for having immediate or delayed breast reconstruction, but only in the older age groups. The offer of breast reconstruction appears to be unequally distributed in Denmark, and living in an area where the hospital has a plastic surgery department significantly increased the odds for having breast reconstruction.

Original languageEnglish
JournalActa Oncologica
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)265-73
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011
Externally publishedYes

    Research areas

  • Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Algorithms, Breast Neoplasms/epidemiology, Carcinoma/epidemiology, Comorbidity, Decision Making/physiology, Denmark/epidemiology, Female, Humans, Mammaplasty/psychology, Mastectomy/methods, Middle Aged, Neoplasm Staging, Social Class, Tumor Burden, Women/psychology

ID: 260412723