Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc)
The Health Disparities Calculator (HD*Calc) is statistical software that generates
multiple summary measures for evaluating and monitoring health disparities. HD*Calc can
be used either as an extension of SEER*Stat, which allows users to import Surveillance,
Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data, or on its own with other population-based
health data, such as from the National Health Interview Survey
(NHIS), California Health
Interview Survey (CHIS), Tobacco Use Supplement to the Current
Population Survey (TUS-CPS), and National Health and Nutrition
Examination Survey (NHANES). HD*Calc is useful for anyone interested in health and
cancer-related disparities as well as those interested in learning about summary measures
of health disparities.
Data such as cancer rates, survival, and stage at diagnosis, which are categorized by
groups such as ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status and geographic areas, can be used
with HD*Calc to generate 11 absolute and relative summary measures of disparity. The
output can be presented in both tabular and graphic formats, which will allow users to
specify various conditions and formats. HD*Calc also provides pair-wise comparisons that
allow users to explore underlying trends in the data.
This application extends the work published in the National Cancer Institute
Surveillance Monograph Series entitled Methods for Measuring Cancer
Disparities, which evaluates measures of health disparities included in HD*Calc. The
monograph discusses major issues that may affect the choice of summary measures of
disparity and systematically reviews methods used in health disparities research.
HD*Calc is located on the SEER Web site.
This work is supported by the Applied Research Program (ARP) and Surveillance Research
Program (SRP) within the Division of Cancer Control and Population Sciences (DCCPS) at the
National Cancer Institute (NCI).
Several peer-reviewed articles have been published on assessing health disparities measures. You may be interested in the peer-reviewed articles below, which discuss assessment of health disparities measures and are relevant to HD*Calc.
Harper S, King NB, Meersman SC, Reichman ME, Breen N, Lynch J.
Implicit value judgments in the measurement of health inequalities.
Milbank Q 2010 Mar;88(1):4-29.
Harper S, Lynch J, Meersman SC, Breen N, Davis WW, Reichman MC.
Trends in area-socioeconomic and race-ethnic disparities in breast cancer incidence, stage at diagnosis, screening, mortality, and survival among women ages 50 years and over (1987-2005).
Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev 2009 Jan;18(1):121-31.
Harper S, Lynch J, Meersman SC, Breen N, Davis WW, Reichman ME.
An overview of methods for monitoring social disparities in cancer with an example using trends in lung cancer incidence by area-socioeconomic position and race-ethnicity, 1992-2004.
Am J Epidemiol 2008 Apr 15;167(8):889-99.