Function in Elderly Cancer Survivors Depends on Comorbidities

Katherine S. Garman, Carl F. Pieper, Pearl H Seo, Harvey Jay Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. Factors associated with functional status in elderly cancer survivors, in particular, comorbidity, have been inadequately studied. Methods. Of 4162 participants aged 65 and older enrolled in the Duke Established Populations for Epidemiologic Studies of the Elderly study in 1986, 376 of the participants self-reported a diagnosis of cancer. Participants were divided into 2 comorbidity groups and 4 cancer groups. Cancer groups included 132 participants diagnosed 0-4 years ago, 117 diagnosed 5-15 years ago, 127 diagnosed > 15 years ago, and 3784 participants who had never been diagnosed with cancer. Comorbidity (self-reported stroke, diabetes, hypertension, and myocardial infarction) was classified as presence of 1 or no comorbidities (n = 3089) or 2 or more comorbidities (n = 1073). Function was assessed by Katz Activities of Daily Living, Rosow-Breslau, Nagi, and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scales at the time of interview. Results. In a two-way analysis of covariance model of comorbidity and cancer group controlling for age, race, sex, education, marital status, depression, and cognitive status, duration of cancer survivorship does not influence most measures of function. In the subset of 376 cancer survivors, comorbidity significantly correlates with the functional status of these older cancer survivors (<0.02, for all 4 measures of function). Conclusions. In the older cancer survivor, regardless of duration following diagnosis, the presence of comorbidity rather than the history of cancer per se correlates with impaired functional status.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1124
Number of pages6
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences
Volume58
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1 2003
Externally publishedYes

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Survivors
Comorbidity
Neoplasms
Activities of Daily Living
Sex Education
Marital Status
Epidemiologic Studies
Survival Rate
Age Groups
History
Stroke
Myocardial Infarction
Interviews
Depression
Hypertension

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

Cite this

Function in Elderly Cancer Survivors Depends on Comorbidities. / Garman, Katherine S.; Pieper, Carl F.; Seo, Pearl H; Cohen, Harvey Jay.

In: Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences, Vol. 58, No. 12, 01.12.2003, p. 1119-1124.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Garman, Katherine S. ; Pieper, Carl F. ; Seo, Pearl H ; Cohen, Harvey Jay. / Function in Elderly Cancer Survivors Depends on Comorbidities. In: Journals of Gerontology - Series A Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. 2003 ; Vol. 58, No. 12. pp. 1119-1124.
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