Comorbidity in Patients With Small-Cell Lung Cancer: Trends and Prognostic Impact

MJ Aarts, Joachim Aerts, BE van den Borne, B Biesma, Valery Lemmens, JS Kloover

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The present study is the first on the trends in comorbidity among patients with small-cell lung cancer. In particular, hypertension and pulmonary, cardiac, and vascular disease have become more common. Multimorbidity and cardiac and digestive disease have affected survival in those with limited-stage disease, and cardiac and cerebrovascular disease have decreased the survival of patients with extensive disease. These data are relevant for treatment decisions and patient communication in daily clinical practice. Introduction: We evaluated the trends in the prevalence of comorbidity and its prognostic impact in a cohort of unselected patients with small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). Patients and Methods: All patients (n = 4142) diagnosed with SCLC from 1995 to 2012 were identified from the population-based Netherlands Cancer Registry in the Eindhoven region. Results: The prevalence of comorbidity increased from 55% in 1995 to 1998 to 76% in 2011 to 2012 and multimorbidity (ie, >= 2 concomitant diseases) from 23% to 51%. The prevalence of a comorbidity increased with age. Among the men, hypertension, cardiac disease, and diabetes, in particular, became more common (increased from 11% to 35%, from 19% to 36%, and from 7% to 18%, respectively). In the women, the rate of pulmonary disease, hypertension, and cardiac disease increased the most (increased from 18% to 30%, from 12% to 28%, and from 11% to 24%, respectively). Multimorbidity was associated with a slightly increased hazard of death, independent of treatment in those with limited-stage SCLC (hazard ratio [HR] for >= 2 comorbidities vs. no comorbidities, 1.2; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.0-1.4). The prognostic effects of multimorbidity resulted from treatment in those with extensive-stage SCLC (HR for >= 2 comorbidities vs. no comorbidities, final model, 1.2; 95% CI, 1.0-1.2). The prognostic impact of the specific comorbidities varied, with digestive disease reducing the hazard and cardiac disease increasing the hazard in those with limited-stage SCLC (HR for digestive disease vs. no digestive disease, 0.7 [95% CI, 0.5-0.9], and HR for cardiac vs. no cardiac disease, 1.2 [95% CI, 1.0-1.3]). Also, cardiac and cerebrovascular disease increased the hazard in those with extensive-stage SCLC (HR 1.2 [95% CI, 1.0-1.3] and HR 1.3 [95% CI, 1.1-1.6], respectively). Conclusion: Comorbidity among patients with SCLC is very common and has been increasing. Multimorbidity was associated with a slightly increased hazard of death in those with limited-stage SCLC, independent of treatment. However, the prognostic effects in those with advanced-stage SCLC resulted from treatment. Digestive disease favorably affected survival and cardiac disease negatively affected the prognosis for those with limited-stage SCLC, and cardiac and cerebrovascular diseases had a negative prognostic effect for those with extensive-stage SCLC. With the burden of comorbidities in patients with SCLC increasing, more attention to individualized treatment approaches is needed. (C) 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)282-291
Number of pages10
JournalClinical Lung Cancer
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MM-04-42-02
  • EMC NIHES-02-65-02

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