A 50% higher prevalence of life-shortening chronic conditions among cancer patients with low socioeconomic status

Br J Cancer. 2010 Nov 23;103(11):1742-8. doi: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6605949. Epub 2010 Oct 26.


Background: Comorbidity and socioeconomic status (SES) may be related among cancer patients.

Method: Population-based cancer registry study among 72,153 patients diagnosed during 1997-2006.

Results: Low SES patients had 50% higher risk of serious comorbidity than those with high SES. Prevalence was increased for each cancer site. Low SES cancer patients had significantly higher risk of also having cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, diabetes mellitus, cerebrovascular disease, tuberculosis, dementia, and gastrointestinal disease. One-year survival was significantly worse in lowest vs highest SES, partly explained by comorbidity.

Conclusion: This illustrates the enormous heterogeneity of cancer patients and stresses the need for optimal treatment of cancer patients with a variety of concomitant chronic conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / etiology
  • Chronic Disease
  • Comorbidity
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasms / complications*
  • Neoplasms / mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Social Class*