Higher dermatologist level, lower melanoma

Feb. 22, 2012 at 8:42 PM   |   Comments

CLEVELAND, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- More dermatologists within a given county was associated with lower mortality rates among patients with melanoma, U.S. researchers found.

Savina Aneja of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland and colleagues examined data on melanoma mortality rates per 100,000 people from January 2002 to December 2006. The study authors said they included 2,472 U.S. counties in their analysis.

The study published in the Archives of Dermatology found that greater dermatologist density at the county level was associated with lower melanoma mortality rates.

The presence of 0.001 to one dermatologist per 100,000 people was associated with a 35 percent reduction in melanoma mortality; but increasing dermatologist density beyond this level was not associated with further improvement in mortality rates.

However, a slightly lower melanoma mortality rate was associated with the presence of hospitals with oncology departments, and metropolitan status of a county was associated with a 30 percent reduction in melanoma mortality rates, the researchers said.

Melanoma mortality rates appeared to be greater in counties with a higher incidence of melanoma, greater non-Hispanic white population and greater health-insured populations.

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