Health-related quality of life in cancer survivors between ages 20 and 64 years

Population-based estimates from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

Authors

  • Lisa C. Richardson MD, MPH,

    Corresponding author
    1. Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
    • Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Mailstop K-55, Atlanta, GA 30341
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    • Fax: (770) 488-4639

  • Phyllis A. Wingo PhD, MS,

    1. Division of Reproductive Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Matthew M. Zack MD, MPH,

    1. Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Hatice S. Zahran MD, MPH,

    1. Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • Jessica B. King MPH

    1. Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia
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  • The findings and conclusions in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  • This article is a US Government work and, as such, is in the public domain in the United States of America.

Abstract

BACKGROUND

The authors examined the health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of cancer survivors between ages 20 and 64 years by using a population-based survey of individuals who had activity limitations caused by cancer.

METHODS

A population-based, cross-sectional study was conducted using the 2000 to 2002 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) to examine HRQOL among respondents who reported activity limitations because of cancer. HRQOL was measured by using the CDC's Healthy Days Measures, including self-rated health status, numbers of unhealthy physical and mental health days, and activity limitation. HRQOL was compared among the following groups: those who reported no activity limitations and those who were limited primarily by cardiovascular conditions, emotional problems, and cancer. Taylor-series linearization methods were used to calculate population-based estimates in this complex sample survey.

RESULTS

Individuals between ages 20 and 64 years who were limited by cancer reported poorer HRQOL measured as higher prevalence of poor or fair self-reported health, more physically unhealthy days, more painful days, and more inadequate sleep days. Compared with the group that had no activity limitations, the individuals who had limitations were more likely to be women and to have annual household incomes <$25,000. They were more likely to be unable to work and to have health insurance. In addition, they were more likely to be former smokers and to be overweight, but they were less likely to participate in leisure-time physical activity.

CONCLUSIONS

Overall, respondents between ages 20 and 64 years who reported being limited primarily by cancer reported lower HRQOL. They also reported unhealthy behaviors that were detrimental to improved HRQOL. The HRQOL and lifestyle modification needs of this population need to be examined prospectively to help decrease their burden of suffering. Cancer 2008. Published 2008 by the American Cancer Society.

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