National Cancer Institute Home at the National Institutes of Health |
Please wait while this form is being loaded....
The Applied Research Program Web site is no longer maintained. ARP's former staff have moved to the new Healthcare Delivery Research Program, the Behavioral Research Program, or the Epidemiology & Genomics Research Program, and the content from this Web site is being moved to one of those sites as appropriate. Please update your links and bookmarks!

Publication Abstract

Authors: Bergamo C, Sigel K, Mhango G, Kale M, Wisnivesky JP

Title: Inequalities in lung cancer care of elderly patients with schizophrenia: an observational cohort study.

Journal: Psychosom Med 76(3):215-20

Date: 2014 Apr

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: Cancer mortality is higher in individuals with schizophrenia, a finding that may be due, in part, to inequalities in care. We evaluated gaps in lung cancer diagnosis, treatment, and survival among elderly individuals with schizophrenia. METHODS: The Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database linked to Medicare records was used to identify patients 66 years or older with primary non-small cell lung cancer. Lung cancer stage, diagnostic evaluation, and rates of stage-appropriate treatment were compared among patients with and without schizophrenia using unadjusted and multiple regression analyses. Survival was compared among groups using Kaplan-Meier methods. RESULTS: Of the 96,702 patients with non-small cell lung cancer in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, 1303 (1.3%) had schizophrenia. In comparison with the general population, patients with schizophrenia were less likely to present with late-stage disease after controlling for age, sex, marital status, race/ethnicity, income, histology, and comorbidities (odds ratio = 0.82, 95% confidence interval = 0.73-0.93) and were less likely to undergo appropriate evaluation (p < .050 for all comparisons). Adjusting for similar factors, patients with schizophrenia were also less likely to receive stage-appropriate treatment (odds ratio = 0.50, 95% confidence interval = 0.43-0.58). Survival was decreased among patients with schizophrenia (mean survival = 22.3 versus 26.3 months, p = .002); however, no differences were observed after controlling for treatment received (p = .40). CONCLUSIONS: Elderly patients with schizophrenia present with earlier stages of lung cancer but are less likely to undergo diagnostic evaluation or to receive stage-appropriate treatment, resulting in poorer outcomes. Efforts to increase treatment rates for elderly patients with schizophrenia may lead to improved survival in this group.

Last Modified: 03 Sep 2013