Cancer health disparities may exist based on the facility type. We aimed to determine the association between the academic status of centers and outcomes of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using the National Cancer Data Base, we compared 1-month mortality and long-term overall survival (OS) of 60 738 patients with AML, who received first course treatment between 2003 and 2011 at academic or nonacademic centers (community cancer program, comprehensive community cancer program, and others). Multivariate analysis was done using logistic regression for one-month mortality and Cox regression with backward elimination approach for OS. Patients treated at academic centers differed from those at nonacademic centers in that they were younger with a median age of 62 versus 70 years (P <.0001), more often an ethnic minority (P <.0001), had lower education level (P =.005), lower co-morbidity score (P <.0001), a different income (P <.0001), and insurance profile (P <.0001), and more often received chemotherapy (P <.0001) and transplant (P <.0001). Receipt of care at nonacademic centers was associated with worse 1-month mortality (29% vs. 16%, P <.0001) and 5-year OS (15% vs. 25%; P <.0001). After adjusting for prognostic covariates, the 1-month mortality (odds ratio, 1.52; 95% confidence interval, CI 1.46-1.59; P <.0001) and OS were significantly worse in nonacademic centers, compared to academic centers. Our large database study suggests that the receipt of initial therapy at academic centers is associated with lower 1-month mortality and higher long-term OS. Investigation of the underlying reasons may allow reducing this disparity.
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