Objective: To validate the influence of the Charlson comorbidity index (CCI) in patients with operated primary non-small cell lung cancer.
Methods: From January 1996 to December 2001, 205 consecutive resections for non-small cell lung cancer were performed at the Erasmus Medical Center Rotterdam. The patients ranged in age from 29 to 82 years, with a mean age of 64 years. In a retrospective study, each patient was scaled according to the CCI and the complications of surgery were determined.
Results: The hospital mortality was 2.4% (5/205). Of the 205 patients 167 (32.7%) experienced minor complications and 32 (15.6%) major complications. In univariate analysis, gender, grades 3-4 of the CCI, any prior tumor treated in the last 5 years and chronic pulmonary disease were significant predictors of adverse outcome. Multivariate analysis showed that only grades 3-4 of the CCI was predictive (odds ratio=9.8; 95% confidence interval=2.1-45.9). Although only comorbidity grades 3-4 was a significant predictor, for every increase of the comorbidity grade the relative risk of adverse outcome showed a slight increase.
Conclusion: The CCI is strongly correlated with higher risk of surgery in primary non-small cell lung cancer patients and is a better predictor than individual risk factors.