Cancer Patients More Likely to File for Bankruptcy: Study
A study of cancer patients in Washington has revealed that cancer patients were twice as likely to file for bankruptcy as people without cancer. The study found that young people with cancer experienced the highest bankruptcy rates about 10 times more compared to cancer patients among old age groups.
The study was led by researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. It linked bankruptcy court records and information from the regional cancer registry on about 200,000 cancer patients. The researchers then compared them with a similar group of people from the same area who did not have cancer.
The study was published in the journal Health Affairs. It found that U. S. cancer patients were 2.65 times more likely to file bankruptcy than people without cancer. The study was based on the data of 197,840 cancer patients age 18 or older in the western district of Washington state between 1995 and 2009.
The study found that 2.2% of them filed for bankruptcy protection after they were diagnosed with cancer.
"Bankruptcy is such an extreme measure of financial distress, and we didn't include the other forms of financial difficulties people encounter", said Catherine Fedorenko, a study co-author and technical project coordinator at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle.
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