Associations between subjective social status and predictors of interest in genetic testing among women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age

Jonathan N. Odumegwu, Daniel Chavez-Yenter, Melody S. Goodman, Kimberly A. Kaphingst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Genetic testing for gene mutations which elevate risk for breast cancer is particularly important for women diagnosed at a young age. Differences remain in access and utilization to testing across social groups, and research on the predictors of interest in genetic testing for women diagnosed at a young age is limited. Methods: We examined the relationships between subjective social status (SSS) and variables previously identified as possible predictors of genetic testing, including genome sequencing knowledge, genetic worry, cancer worry, health consciousness, decision-making preferences, genetic self-efficacy, genetic-related beliefs, and subjective numeracy, among a cohort of women who were diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age. Results: In this sample (n = 1,076), those who had higher SSS had significantly higher knowledge about the limitations of genome sequencing (Odds Ratio (OR) = 1.11; 95% CI = 1.01−1.21) and significantly higher informational norms (OR = 1.93; 95% CI = 1.19−3.14) than those with lower SSS. Similarly, education (OR = 2.75; 95% CI = 1.79−4.22), health status (OR = 2.18; 95% CI = 1.44−3.31) were significant predictors among higher SSS women compared to lower SSS women in our multivariate analysis. Lower SSS women with low self-reported income (OR = 0.13; 95% CI = 0.08−0.20) had lower odds of genetic testing interest. Our results are consistent with some prior research utilizing proxy indicators for socioeconomic status, but our research adds the importance of using a multidimensional indicator such as SSS to examine cancer and genetic testing predictor outcomes. Conclusion: To develop interventions to improve genetic knowledge, researchers should consider the social status and contexts of women diagnosed with breast cancer at a young age (or before 40 years old) to ensure equity in the distribution of genetic testing benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCancer Causes and Control
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Genetic testing
  • Subjective Social Status
  • Young women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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