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Invited Critique
March 2013

Poor Cancer Survival Among American Indians: Why?
Comment on “Cancer Surgery Among American Indians”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgery, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington.

JAMA Surg. 2013;148(3):284. doi:10.1001/jamasurg.2013.1428

Markin and colleagues1 examined the role of surgery in an effort to explain why American Indians (AIs) have the poorest survival rates for cancer among all ethnic groups in the United States. Despite all the issues associated with a retrospective cohort study using an administrative database, the authors identified some important disparities. Compared with non-Hispanic white patients, AI patients were younger, had more comorbid conditions, and were more likely to have surgery in smaller, rural hospitals. Despite these inequities, short-term surgical outcomes were similar.

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