There is some evidence that the socioeconomic status (SES) is associated with survival in glioblastoma (GBM), but the findings are limited. We conducted a single centre prospective observational study investigating the association between SES and GBM survival in Italy, where exists a national health service that provides universal coverage.
This study was a prospective analysis of newly diagnosed GBM patients who underwent chemoradiation between 2018 and 2020 in a hub center for brain cancer research. The SES was measured using the income-brackets, extracted from regional health administrative system. The income-brackets refer to annual gross family income: up to 36,152 euros in income is classified as R1 bracket; between 36,153 and 70,000 euros as R2; between 70,0001 and 100,000 euros as R3; over 100,000 euros as R4.
One hundred six patients were included in the study. In multivariable cox proportional hazard model of survival, a high available income was associated with improved survival HR= 0.623 (95% CI 0.467-0.832; p = 0.001). When adjusted for age, survival remained improved for high-income patients.
We confirm that SES is an important determinant of prognosis in GBM even in the Italian National Health Service which provide universal, largely free and relatively comprehensive healthcare. Despite aspirations to achieve equality in healthcare, socioeconomic differences exist and may impact on clinical outcome.
Clinical trial identification
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Has not received any funding.
All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.