Comparison of Comorbid Conditions Between Cancer Survivors and Age-Matched Patients Without Cancer

Satyajeet Roy, Shirisha Vallepu, Cristian Barrios, Krystal Hunter


Background: Cancer survivors suffer from many comorbid conditions even after the cure of their cancers beyond 5 years. We explored the differences in the association of comorbid conditions between the cancer survivors and patients without cancer.

Methods: Electronic medical records of 280 adult cancer survivors and 280 age-matched patients without cancer in our suburban internal medicine office were reviewed.

Results: Mean age of the cancer survivors was 72.5 ± 13.1 years, and the age of the patients without cancer was 72.5 ± 12.8 years. The number of male cancer survivors was significantly higher than the female cancer survivors (52.5% vs. 47.5%, P < 0.001). There were significantly more Caucasians and other races (majority Asians) in the cancer survivor group compared to the patients without cancer group (81.8% vs. 79.3% and 4.6% vs. 0.4%, respectively, P < 0.05); while there were significantly less African Americans and Hispanics in the cancer survivor group compared to the patients without cancer group (10.0% vs. 12.8% and 3.6% vs. 7.5%, respectively, P < 0.05). Hypertension (64.3%), hyperlipidemia (56.1%), osteoarthritis (34.3%), hypothyroidism (21.8%), diabetes mellitus (21.8%) and coronary artery disease (21.8%) were the most common comorbid conditions observed in the cancer survivors. Osteoarthritis was the only comorbid condition that was significantly less frequently associated with the cancer survivors compared to the patients without cancer (42.9%, P < 0.05). The frequencies of all other comorbid conditions were not significantly different between the two groups. The majority of our group of cancer survivors had one or more types of the top six cancers which include prostate cancer (30.7%), melanoma (13.9%), thyroid cancer (11.4%), colon cancer (11.1%), uterine cancer (11.1%) and urinary bladder cancer (11.1%); while only a few had cancer of the cervix (6.1%) or breast cancer (0.3%). Use of aspirin, statin, vitamin D, multivitamins, metformin and fish oil supplement in the cancer survivors was similar to the patients without cancer.

Conclusions: Hypertension, hyperlipidemia, osteoarthritis, hypothyroidism, diabetes mellitus and coronary artery disease are the most common associated comorbid conditions in the cancer survivors. Osteoarthritis is less frequently seen in the cancer survivors compared to the patients without cancer. The frequencies of other comorbid conditions are not significantly different between the two groups.

J Clin Med Res. 2018;10(12):911-919


Cancer survivors; Comorbid medical conditions; Comorbidities in cancer survivors

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