Demographic predictors of head and neck cancer survival differ in the elderly.


Journal Article

OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHESIS: Head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) prognosis strongly correlates with demographic factors. This study aimed to determine whether demographic predictors of HNSCC survival differ between age cohorts, with an emphasis on the growing elderly demographic. STUDY DESIGN: Outcomes research. METHODS: Adults with squamous cell carcinoma of the upper aerodigestive tract were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results 18 database. Demographic and oncologic factors were compared between three age groups: 18 to 49, 50 to 74, and >75 years. Factors associated with cancer-specific survival were assessed in each cohort using subdistribution hazard ratio (sHR) and 95% confidence interval (CI) produced by multivariate competing risk models. RESULTS: A cohort of 69,098 patients included 10,588 (15.3%) 75 years or older and 9,882 (14.3%) less than 50 years old. Older patients were more often female (35.4% vs. 25.1% aged 18-49 years and 20.4% aged 50-74 years), white (78.7% vs. 69.4% and 75.9%), insured (63.5% vs. 46.5% and 56.8%), and married (56.6% vs. 53% and 51.1%), but received adequate treatment less often (72.0% vs. 86.3% and 82.7%). In the older cohort, male sex was associated with lower mortality (sHR: 0.92, 95% CI: 0.85-1.00), and unlike the younger cohorts, black race was no longer associated with mortality (sHR: 1.07, 95% CI: 0.94-1.22). Marriage was associated with lower mortality in all age groups but with diminishing effects (single sHR: young 1.52, middle 1.31, older 1.14). CONCLUSIONS: Elderly HNSCC patients have distinct effects from demographic prognostic factors and should be considered a separate subgroup with unique epidemiology, risks, and preferences. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: 2c Laryngoscope, , 129:146-153, 2018.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Massa, ST; Cass, LM; Challapalli, S; Zahirsha, Z; Simpson, M; Ward, G; Osazuwa-Peters, N

Published Date

  • January 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 129 / 1

Start / End Page

  • 146 - 153

PubMed ID

  • 30194774

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30194774

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1531-4995

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1002/lary.27289


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States