HealthDay News — For nonelderly adults in the United States, having Medicaid or no health insurance is associated with increased odds of being diagnosed with late-stage melanoma compared with having private insurance, according to a study recently published online in Cancer.

Boya Abudu, M.D., M.P.H., from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues analyzed the National Cancer Data Base for cases of invasive melanoma diagnosed between 2004 and 2015 among individuals aged 26 to 64 years in a cross-sectional study. The association between health insurance status and stage of melanoma at the time of diagnosis was examined for 177,247 cases, while accounting for known risk factors for late-stage diagnosis.

The researchers found that after adjustment for risk factors in late-stage diagnosis, compared with individuals with private insurance, individuals with Medicaid or no health insurance had 3.12 and 2.21 times greater odds of being diagnosed with late-stage melanoma.

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“Future studies into the role of health system factors are warranted to better understand the disparity between insurance types and to improve screening practices for patients with nonprivate health insurance,” the authors write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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