Predictors of an early death in patients diagnosed with colon cancer: a retrospective case-control study in the United Kingdom
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article
DESIGN: A retrospective case-control study design was applied with matching on age, sex and year diagnosed. Patient, disease, clinical, and service characteristics of patients diagnosed with colon cancer in a UK region (2005-2010), who survived less than three months from diagnosis (cases) were compared with patients who survived between six and thirty-six months (controls). Patient and clinical data was sourced from General Practice notes and hospital databases 1-3 years pre-diagnosis.
RESULTS: Being older (aged 78 years) and living in deprivation quintile 5 (OR=2.64, CI: 1.15-6.06), being unmarried and living alone (OR=1.64, CI: 1.07-2.50), being underweight compared to normal weight or obese (OR=3.99, CI: 1.14-14.0) and being older and living in a rural as opposed to urban area (OR=1.96, CI: 1.21-3.17) were all independent predictors of early death from colon cancer. Missing information was also associated with early death including unknown stage, histological type and marital/accommodation status after accounting for other factors.
CONCLUSION: Several factors typically associated with social isolation were a recurring theme in patients who died early from colon cancer death. This association is unexplained by clinical or diagnostic pathway characteristics. Socially isolated patients are a key target group to improve outcomes of the worst surviving patients, but further investigation is required to determine if being isolated itself is actually cause of early death from colon cancer.