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Editorial |

A Conceptual Framework for Advancing Melanoma Health Disparities Research

Claudia Hernandez, MD; Robin J. Mermelstein, PhD
Arch Dermatol. 2009;145(12):1442-1446. doi:10.1001/archdermatol.2009.316.
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Health disparities may be defined as “differences in incidence, prevalence, morbidity, mortality and burden of diseases and other adverse health conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.”1(p7) In this issue of the Archives, Hu et al2 retrospectively compared the incidence of melanoma for white non-Hispanics, white Hispanics, and blacks. Their study detected significantly more advanced melanomas at presentation for white Hispanics and blacks in the state of Florida than for white non-Hispanic patients. This study adds to a growing body of literature that identifies a pervasive and persistent disparity in the stage of melanoma diagnosis between Hispanic and black patients vs white patients.

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Figure 1. Sequential phases of melanoma disparity research.10

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Figure 2. Proposed factors that affect the receipt of melanoma health care for Hispanics in the United States.17

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Figure 3. Potential points for intervention in conceptual framework.17

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