Associations between lifestyle factors and quality of life among older long-term breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer survivors

Authors

  • Catherine E. Mosher PhD,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York
    • Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022===

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    • Fax: (212) 888-2584.

  • Richard Sloane MS, MPH,

    1. Duke University Older Americans Independence Center, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Miriam C. Morey PhD,

    1. Duke University Older Americans Independence Center, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    3. Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Denise Clutter Snyder MS, RD, CSO,

    1. Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Harvey J. Cohen MD,

    1. Duke University Older Americans Independence Center, Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina
    3. Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina
    4. Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Durham, North Carolina
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  • Paige E. Miller MS,

    1. Department of Nutritional Sciences, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
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  • Wendy Demark-Wahnefried PhD, RD

    1. Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, North Carolina
    2. Department of Behavioral Science, The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
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  • We dedicate this article in memory of our esteemed and beloved colleague, Dr. Elizabeth C. Clipp.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Older cancer survivors are at increased risk for secondary cancers, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and functional decline and, thus, may benefit from health-related interventions. However, to the authors' knowledge, little is known regarding the health behaviors of older cancer survivors and the associations of those behaviors with quality-of-life outcomes, especially during the long-term post-treatment period.

METHODS:

In total, 753 older (aged ≥65 years) long-term survivors (≥5 years postdiagnosis) of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer completed 2 baseline telephone interviews to assess their eligibility for a diet and exercise intervention trial. The interviews assessed exercise, diet, weight status, and quality of life.

RESULTS:

Older cancer survivors reported a median of 10 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous exercise per week, and only 7% had Healthy Eating Index scores >80 (indicative of healthful eating habits relative to national guidelines). Despite their suboptimal health behaviors, survivors reported mental and physical quality of life that exceeded age-related norms. Greater exercise and better diet quality were associated with better physical quality-of-life outcomes (eg, better vitality and physical functioning; P < .05), whereas greater body mass index was associated with reduced physical quality of life (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS:

The current results indicated a high prevalence of suboptimal health behaviors among older, long-term survivors of breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer who were interested in lifestyle modification. In addition, the findings pointed to the potential negative impact of obesity and the positive impact of physical activity and a healthy diet on physical quality of life in this population. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.

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