Comorbidity, age, race and stage at diagnosis in colorectal cancer: A retrospective, parallel analysis of two health systems

Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, USA.
BMC Cancer (Impact Factor: 3.36). 12/2008; 8(1):345. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2407-8-345
Source: PubMed


Stage at diagnosis plays a significant role in colorectal cancer (CRC) survival. Understanding which factors contribute to a more advanced stage at diagnosis is vital to improving overall survival. Comorbidity, race, and age are known to impact receipt of cancer therapy and survival, but the relationship of these factors to stage at diagnosis of CRC is less clear. The objective of this study is to investigate how comorbidity, race and age influence stage of CRC diagnosis.
Two distinct healthcare populations in the United States (US) were retrospectively studied. Using the Cancer Care Outcomes Research and Surveillance Consortium database, we identified CRC patients treated at 15 Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals from 2003-2007. We assessed metastatic CRC patients treated from 2003-2006 at 10 non-VA, fee-for-service (FFS) practices. Stage at diagnosis was dichotomized (non-metastatic, metastatic). Race was dichotomized (white, non-white). Charlson comorbidity index and age at diagnosis were calculated. Associations between stage, comorbidity, race, and age were determined by logistic regression.
342 VA and 340 FFS patients were included. Populations differed by the proportion of patients with metastatic CRC at diagnosis (VA 27% and FFS 77%) reflecting differences in eligibility criteria for inclusion. VA patients were mean (standard deviation; SD) age 67 (11), Charlson index 2.0 (1.0), and were 63% white. FFS patients were mean age 61 (13), Charlson index 1.6 (1.0), and were 73% white. In the VA cohort, higher comorbidity was associated with earlier stage at diagnosis after adjusting for age and race (odds ratio (OR) 0.76, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.58-1.00; p = 0.045); no such significant relationship was identified in the FFS cohort (OR 1.09, 95% CI 0.82-1.44; p = 0.57). In both cohorts, no association was found between stage at diagnosis and either age or race.
Higher comorbidity may lead to earlier stage of CRC diagnosis. Multiple factors, perhaps including increased interactions with the healthcare system due to comorbidity, might contribute to this finding. Such increased interactions are seen among patients within a healthcare system like the VA system in the US versus sporadic interactions which may be seen with FFS healthcare.

Download full-text


Available from: David H Abbott
  • Source
    • "Gonzalez et al. [35] found that a higher comorbidity index was associated with higher odds of advanced-stage breast cancer. In addition, similarly conflicting results exist for other tumors as well [36, 37]. The presence of undiagnosed conditions, many of which are found after cancer diagnosis, appears to confound associations at the time of diagnosis. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Longitudinal analyses of comorbid conditions in women with breast cancer are few. Using Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare data, we included 51,950 women aged≥66 years with in situ and stage I to IV breast cancer diagnosed in 1998-2002. We identified the prevalence and incidence of 34 comorbid conditions in these women, as well as in a matched cohort without cancer whose rates were standardized to the age and race/ethnicity distribution of the cancer patients. We also estimated rates of office encounters and diagnostic or testing procedures during the 12 months before diagnosis. The prevalence of most conditions at diagnosis was comparable among breast cancer and noncancer patients. New conditions after diagnosis were more common in breast cancer patients, and the incidence rates increased with higher stage at diagnosis. Before diagnosis, women presenting with stage IV disease had 41% [95% confidence interval (CI) 38% to 43%] fewer physician encounters and 34% (95% CI 24% to 31%) fewer unique diagnostic tests than women diagnosed with carcinoma in situ. Many comorbid conditions are identified as a consequence of the breast cancer diagnosis. There appears to be an important contribution from a lack of interaction with the health care system before diagnosis.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2011 · Annals of Oncology
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The evaluation of comorbidity is of increasing importance in patients with hematologic disorders. In the present study, the influence of comorbidity on survival and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) evolution was analyzed retrospectively in 419 patients with de novo myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) (observation period: 1985-2007). The median age was 71 years (range 24-91 years). Two different scoring systems, the hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation-specific comorbidity index (HCT-CI) and the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) were applied. The HCT-CI was found to be a significant prognostic factor for overall survival (OS, P < 0.05) as well as event-free survival (EFS, P < 0.05) in our patients, whereas the CCI was of prognostic significance for OS (P < 0.05), but not for EFS. For AML-free survival, neither the HCT-CI nor the CCI were of predictive value. A multivariate analysis including age, lactate dehydrogenase, ferritin, karyotype, number of cytopenias, French-American-British groups, and comorbidity was applied. Comorbidity was found to be an independent prognostic factor in patients with low- or int-1-risk MDS (P < 0.05) regarding OS and EFS. Together, our data show that comorbidity is an important risk factor for OS and EFS in patients with MDS.
    No preview · Article · Jul 2009 · Annals of Oncology
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Colorectal cancer is one of the major cancers in the developed world. The incidence of colorectal cancer is low in India. The aim of the present study was to describe the anatomical distribution and age at diagnosis of colorectal cancer in India. Retrospective descriptive analysis of anatomical distribution, age at diagnosis and demography of 220 cases (149 [67.7%] men) of adenocarcinoma of the colon or rectum diagnosed at colonoscopy over a period of five years. The mean age at diagnosis was 58.4 years (SD 13.3; range 23-85 years). Twenty-eight (12.7%) cases were below the age of 40 years. The majority (31.8%) cases were aged between 61-70 years. Most of the tumors (n=163, 74%) were located distal to the splenic flexure. Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that bleeding per rectum (OR 2.8; 95% CI 1.2-6.2) was associated with distal cancer, and palpable mass (OR 3.9; 95% CI 1.7-8.6) was associated with proximal cancer. Almost one-third of the colorectal cancers in this series occurred in the seventh decade and were located distal to the splenic flexure.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2009 · Indian Journal of Gastroenterology
Show more