Association of a cancer diagnosis with vulnerability and frailty in older Medicare beneficiaries.

Published

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: Few studies have evaluated the independent effect of a cancer diagnosis on vulnerability and frailty, which have been associated with adverse health outcomes in older adults. METHODS: We used data in the 2003 Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey from a nationally representative sample of 12,480 community-dwelling elders. Multivariable logistic regression models were used to evaluate whether cancer was independently associated with vulnerability and frailty. Measures of vulnerability and frailty included disability, geriatric syndromes, self-rated health, and scores on two assessment tools for elderly cancer patients-the Vulnerable Elders Survey-13 (VES-13) and the Balducci frailty criteria. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: Diagnosis of a non-skin cancer was reported by 18.8% of the respondents. Compared with respondents without a cancer history, respondents with a personal history of cancer had a statistically significantly higher prevalence of limitations in activities of daily living (31.9% vs 26.9%), limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (49.5% vs 42.3%), geriatric syndromes (60.8% vs 53.9%), low self-rated health (27.4% vs 20.9%), score of 3 or higher on the VES-13 (45.8% vs 39.5%), and satisfying criteria for frailty as defined by Balducci (79.6% vs 73.4%) (P < .001 for all characteristics). After adjustment for confounders, a cancer diagnosis was found to be associated with low self-rated health (adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 1.46, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.30 to 1.64; relative risk [RR] = 1.33), limitations in activities of daily living (adjusted OR = 1.19, 95% CI = 1.06 to 1.33; RR = 1.13), limitations in instrumental activities of daily living (adjusted OR = 1.25, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.38; RR = 1.13), a geriatric syndrome (adjusted OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.15 to 1.41; RR = 1.11), VES-13 score of 3 or higher (adjusted OR = 1.26, 95% CI = 1.13 to 1.41; RR = 1.14), and frailty (adjusted OR = 1.46, 95% CI = 1.29 to 1.65; RR = 1.09) as defined by Balducci criteria. CONCLUSION: Diagnosis of a non-skin cancer was associated with increased levels of having disability, having geriatric syndromes, and meeting criteria for vulnerability and frailty.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mohile, SG; Xian, Y; Dale, W; Fisher, SG; Rodin, M; Morrow, GR; Neugut, A; Hall, W

Published Date

  • September 2, 2009

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 101 / 17

Start / End Page

  • 1206 - 1215

PubMed ID

  • 19638506

Pubmed Central ID

  • 19638506

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1460-2105

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/jnci/djp239

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States