WEDNESDAY, Sept. 16 (HealthDay News) -- Lymphoma patients in rural areas who are treated by community-based providers are at greater risk of death than rural patients treated by university-based providers and urban patients treated by either community- or university-based providers, according to a study published online Sept. 14 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Fausto R. Loberiza Jr., M.D., of the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, and colleagues used data from the university's oncology database to compare the outcomes for 2,330 lymphoma patients categorized by residence and source of provider, including: 321 urban residents treated by university medical providers, 816 urban residents treated by community medical providers, 332 rural residents treated by university medical providers, and 861 rural residents treated by community medical providers. The groups were compared for overall survival, and progression-free survival.
The researchers found that the relative risk of death was not statistically different among urban residents treated by either university or community medical providers or rural residents treated by university medical providers. However, the risk was increased for rural residents treated by community medical providers compared to either urban or rural residents treated by university providers (relative risks, 1.37 and 1.26, respectively). Among high-risk patients, all the groups were at greater risk compared to urban residents treated by university providers.
"Outreach programs designed to improve availability of effective treatments especially to those in the rural areas should be implemented especially in high-risk patients with lymphoma," the authors write.
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