Background: Evidence from healthcare studies demonstrates that patients’ health insurance affects service accessibility and the outcome of treatment. However, assessment on how colorectal cancer survival relates to health insurance is limited. Objective: The study examined the association between health insurance and colorectal cancer survival in Khon Kaen, Thailand. Methods: The retrospective cohort study was conducted with 1,931 colorectal cancer patients from Khon Kaen cancer registry between January 1, 2003 and December 31, 2012, and was followed-up until December 31, 2015. Relative survival was used to estimate the survival rate. Cox proportional hazard regression was used to estimate the relationship between health insurance and colorectal cancer survival, represented with the hazard ratio. Result: Most of the participants were males, and the median age was 62 years. The median survival time was 2.25 years (95% CI: 2.00-2.51). The five-year observed survival rate and relative survival rate were 36.87 (95% CI: 34.66-39.08) and, 42.28 (95% CI: 39.75-44.81), respectively. The factors that showed significant associations with poorer survival after adjustment for gender and age were non-surgical treatments (HRadj=1.88;95%CI=1.45-2.45), advanced stage (III+IV) (HRadj=2.50; 95%CI=2.00-3.12), histological grading in poorly differentiated (HRadj=1.84; 95%CI=1.32-2.56), and Universal Coverage Scheme (HRadj=1.37;95%CI=1.09-1.72). Conclusion: The survival of colorectal cancer patients in the Universal Coverage Scheme was likely to be poorer than in the Civil Servant Medical Benefit Scheme. This indicates an urgent need for a national program for colorectal cancer screening in the general population and access to health insurance.
Health Insurance and Colorectal Cancer Survival in Khon Kaen, Thailand
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