Cardiovascular comorbidities and survival of lung cancer patients: Medicare data based analysis.

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OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the role of cardiovascular disease (CVD) comorbidity in survival of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). MATERIALS AND METHODS: The impact of seven CVDs (at the time of NSCLC diagnosis and during subsequent follow-up) on overall survival was studied for NSCLC patients aged 65+ years using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results data linked to the U.S. Medicare data, cancer stage- and treatment-specific. Cox regression was applied to evaluate death hazard ratios of CVDs in univariable and multivariable analyses (controlling by age, TNM statuses, and 78 non-CVD comorbidities) and to investigate the effects of 128 different combinations of CVDs on patients' survival. RESULTS: Overall, 95,167 patients with stage I (n=29,836, 31.4%), II (n=5133, 5.4%), IIIA (n=11,884, 12.5%), IIIB (n=18,020, 18.9%), and IV (n=30,294, 31.8%) NSCLC were selected. Most CVDs increased the risk of death for stages I-IIIB patients, but did not significantly impact survival of stage IV patients. The worse survival of patients was associated with comorbid heart failure, myocardial infarction, and cardiac arrhythmias that occurred during a period of follow-up: HRs up to 1.85 (p<0.001), 1.96 (p<0.05), and 1.67 (p<0.001), respectively, varying by stage and treatment. The presence of hyperlipidemia at baseline (HR down to 0.71, p<0.05) was associated with better prognosis. Having multiple co-existing CVDs significantly increased mortality for all treatments, especially for stages I and II patients treated with surgery (HRs up to 2.89, p<0.05) and stages I-IIIB patients treated with chemotherapy (HRs up to 2.59, p<0.001) and chemotherapy and radiotherapy (HRs up to 2.20, p<0.001). CONCLUSION: CVDs impact the survival of NSCLC patients, particularly when multiple co-existing CVDs are present; the impacts vary by stage and treatment. This data should be considered in improving cancer treatment selection process for such potentially challenging patients as the elderly NSCLC patients with CVD comorbidities.





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Kravchenko, Julia, Mark Berry, Konstantin Arbeev, H Kim Lyerly, Anatoly Yashin and Igor Akushevich (2017). Cardiovascular comorbidities and survival of lung cancer patients: Medicare data based analysis. Lung Cancer, 88(1). pp. 85–93. 10.1016/j.lungcan.2015.01.006 Retrieved from

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Konstantin Arbeev

Associate Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Konstantin G. Arbeev received the M.S. degree in Applied Mathematics from Moscow State University (branch in Ulyanovsk, Russia) in 1995 and the Ph.D. degree in Mathematics and Physics (specialization in Theoretical Foundations of Mathematical Modeling, Numerical Methods and Programming) from Ulyanovsk State University (Russia) in 1999. He was a post-doctoral fellow in Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock (Germany) before moving to Duke University in 2004 to work as a Research Scientist and a Senior Research Scientist in the Department of Sociology and the Social Science Research Institute (SSRI).  He is currently an Associate Research Professor in SSRI. Dr. Arbeev's major research interests are related to three interconnected fields of biodemography, biostatistics and genetic epidemiology as pertains to research on aging. The focus of his research is on discovering genetic and non-genetic factors that can affect the process of aging and determine longevity and healthy lifespan. He is interested in both methodological advances in this research area as well as their practical applications to analyses of large-scale longitudinal studies with phenotypic, genetic and, recently, genomic information. Dr. Arbeev authored and co-authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications in these areas.


Herbert Kim Lyerly

George Barth Geller Distinguished Professor of Immunology

Anatoli I. Yashin

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

Igor Akushevich

Research Professor in the Social Science Research Institute

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