Chronic condition clusters and functional impairment in older cancer survivors: a population-based study

Academic Article


  • Purpose: The purpose of the study is to identify chronic condition clusters at pre- and post-cancer diagnosis, evaluate predictors of developing clusters post-cancer, and examine the impact on functional impairment among older cancer survivors. Methods: We identified 5991 survivors age 65 and older of prostate, breast, colorectal, lung, bladder, kidney, head and neck, and gynecologic cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma from the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey resource. Survivors completed surveys pre- and post-cancer diagnosis on 13 chronic conditions and functional status. Among those with ≥2 conditions, exploratory factor analysis identified clusters of conditions. Differences in cluster frequency from pre- to post-cancer diagnosis were evaluated across the top five cancer types using chi-square tests. Modified Poisson regression models estimated the relative risk of developing clusters post-diagnosis. Chi-square tests evaluated associations between function and clusters. Results: Clusters included the following: cardiovascular disease cluster (pre 6.1 % and post 7.7 %), musculoskeletal cluster (28.2 % and 29.3 %), metabolic cluster (14.9 % and 17.6 %), and the major depressive disorder risk (MDDr) + gastrointestinal (GI) + pulmonary condition cluster (5.8 % and 8.7 %). Increases in MDDr + GI + Pulmonary cluster from pre- to post-cancer diagnosis were observed for prostate, lung, and colorectal cancer survivors. Functional impairment was more prevalent in survivors with defined clusters, especially in MDDr + GI + pulmonary, compared to survivors with ≥2 un-clustered conditions. Conclusions: Distinct condition clusters of two or more chronic conditions are prevalent among older cancer survivors. Cluster prevalence increases from pre- to post-cancer diagnosis and these clusters have a significant impact on functional limitations. Implications for Cancer Survivors: Tailored management on specific multimorbidity patterns will have implications for functional outcomes among older survivors.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Kenzik KM; Kent EE; Martin MY; Bhatia S; Pisu M
  • Start Page

  • 1096
  • End Page

  • 1103
  • Volume

  • 10
  • Issue

  • 6