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December 2009

A Conceptual Framework for Advancing Melanoma Health Disparities Research

Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(12):1442-1446. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.316

Health disparities may be defined as “differences in incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.”1(p7) In this issue of the Archives, Hu et al2 retrospectively compared the incidence of melanoma for white non-Hispanics, white Hispanics, and blacks. Their study detected significantly more advanced melanomas at presentation for white Hispanics and blacks in the state of Florida than for white non-Hispanic patients. This study adds to a growing body of literature that identifies a pervasive and persistent disparity in the stage of melanoma diagnosis between Hispanic and black patients vs white patients.

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