Background: To better understand the associations between a history of tobacco use and survival outcomes, cigarette use was prospectively surveyed in 687 previously untreated patients with cancer of the oral cavity (n = 271), oropharynx (n = 257), larynx (n = 135), or hypopharynx (n = 24).
Methods: Kaplan-Meier and Cox models explored the associations of tobacco use intensity (packs/day), duration (years of use), and timing before diagnosis with overall survival (OS), disease-specific survival (DSS), and recurrence-free survival (RFS).
Results: Cigarette use duration, timing, and intensity were significant predictors for all outcomes in univariate analysis. Never smoking and pack-years were not significantly associated with outcomes after adjustment for prognostic factors, such as stage, comorbidities, and human papillomavirus (HPV) status, which were strongly associated with clinical outcomes.
Conclusion: The findings confirm the association between smoking history and survival and the importance of clinical variables in evaluating smoking as a prognostic factor. Timing, intensity, and duration of cigarette use should be considered with other prognostic factors when considering risk stratification for treatment planning. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Head Neck 38: 1810-1820, 2016.
Keywords: comorbidities; duration; epidemiology; head and neck cancer; intensity; recurrence; survival; tobacco.
© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.