DISPARITIES IN MORTALITY OF HISPANIC CYSTIC FIBROSIS PATIENTS IN THE UNITED STATES: A NATIONAL AND REGIONAL COHORT STUDY
Rho J, Ahn C, Gao A, Sawicki G, Keller A, Jain R.
What was your research question?
Is there a difference in survival rates in Hispanic people with CF versus non-Hispanic people with CF?
Why is this important?
The Hispanic population is the fastest-growing minority group of CF patients in the United States. Many of these patients do not speak fluent English, and it is possible that cultural or language barriers may make them a vulnerable population within the CF community.
What did you do?
We analyzed survival rates in people with CF of Hispanic origin vs. other origins. We then subdivided the results based on the region of the country where the patients live.
What did you find?
After adjusting for covariates including age, sex, genetic mutations, bacterial cultures, lung function, body mass index, use of CF respiratory therapies, low socioeconomic status, pancreatic enzyme use, and CF-related diabetes, CF people of Hispanic origin were found to have a decreased survival. When analyzed by region, Hispanics in the Midwest, Northeast, and West had shorter median survivals compared with non-Hispanics. We did not see this same decrease in survival of Hispanic people with CF in the South.
What does this mean and reasons for caution?
Hispanics may be a vulnerable group of people within the CF population. We need to further work to understand what is contributing to these differences in survival and how we can narrow this gap.
Investigators need to determine the reasons for decreased survival in CF people of Hispanic origin. Possible factors include CFTR modifier genes, culture or language barriers, or differences in access to care, and understanding the reasons for decreased survival will allow physicians to better support this group of people.
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. 2018 Oct 15; 198 (8): 1055-1063.