Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the quality of life among cancer survivors compared with individuals without a history of cancer (noncancer controls) using the Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Methods: The study subjects were 783 adult cancer survivors and 36 456 noncancer controls who participated in the third, fourth and fifth Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Demographic factors, health-related behavior, clinical characteristics and health-related quality of life were assessed with self-reported questionnaires. The EuroQoL-5Dimension was used to evaluate health-related quality of life. Descriptive statistics and multiple regression analysis were used to compare health-related quality of life between cancer survivors and noncancer controls.
Results: About 67% were women and the mean age of the cancer survivors was 60.9 ± 12.4 years. About 52% of survivors were diagnosed with cancer between 45 and 64 years, and more than half of cancer survivors were diagnosed 5 years or less before the interview. The pain/discomfort dimension was the highest reported problem: 43.6% for cancer survivors. The proportion of any reported problem was significantly higher among cancer survivors compared with noncancer controls in terms of mobility (adjusted odds ratio (aOR), 1.56, 95% confidence interval, 1.24-1.97), usual activities (aOR, 1.45, 95% confidence interval, 1.11-1.89), pain/discomfort (aOR, 1.26, 95% confidence interval, 1.04-1.52) and anxiety/depression (aOR, 1.61, 95% confidence interval, 1.29-2.01).
Conclusions: Cancer survivors had a significantly lower quality of life compared with noncancer controls. The pain/discomfort dimension was the highest reported problem in cancer survivors.
Keywords: Korea National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey; neoplasm; quality of life; risk factors; survivors.