Prevalence and incidence of acute and chronic comorbidity in patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck

S. H. Landis, I. A. El-Hariry, M. P. van Herk-Sukel, P. van den Haak, M. L. Janssen-Heijnen, F. J. Penning-van Beest, R. M. Herings

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BACKGROUND: Limited data exist on the burden of comorbidity among patients with squamous cell head and neck cancer (SCCHN) before and during cancer treatment. METHODS: The precancer prevalence and incidence rates of 8 comorbid conditions were estimated among a population-based cohort of 1499 patients with SCCHN in the Netherlands. Patients with cancer, treatments, and comorbidities were identified in the PHARMO Record Linkage System (RLS) using hospital admissions and/or dispensing codes. Prevalence proportions and incidence rates were also compared against a matched cancer-free population. RESULTS: Cardiovascular (41%) and respiratory diseases (12%) were the most prevalent comorbidities. Incidence rates of most comorbidities were highest the first 6 months after cancer diagnosis and decreased over time. Patients receiving chemotherapy-based treatment had significantly higher incidence rates of anemia and other malignant diseases. CONCLUSIONS: High rates of acute and chronic comorbidity were observed; knowledge of comorbidity burden aids in establishing a benefit-risk profile for investigational SCCHN therapies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)238-244
Number of pages7
JournalHead and Neck
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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