Comorbidity independently predicted death in older prostate cancer patients, more of whom died with than from their disease

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Quantitative Health Sciences

Publication Date


Document Type



African Continental Ancestry Group; Age Distribution; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Alabama; Cardiovascular Diseases; Cause of Death; Comorbidity; European Continental Ancestry Group; Humans; Male; Neoplasms; Prostatic Neoplasms; Pulmonary Disease, Chronic Obstructive; Retrospective Studies; Severity of Illness Index


Bioinformatics | Biostatistics | Epidemiology | Health Services Research


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the proportion of men who died from prostate cancer (PrCa) vs. with PrCa and assess the comorbid conditions associated with other-cause deaths.

STUDY DESIGN AND SETTING: We identified all male decedents aged >/=65 years in Jefferson County, AL, in 1993-1995. By crosslinking three databases (death certificate, Medicare, and Veteran's Administration), we identified men whose deaths might have been caused by PrCa. We abstracted and reviewed medical records to rate comorbid conditions and determine whether or not death was due to PrCa.

RESULTS: Of 561 men with a premortem diagnosis of PrCa, 42% died from PrCa and 53% died with PrCA; 50.2% of blacks died from PrCa vs. 36.9% of Whites. Other factors related to dying with PrCa included older age at death and a serious, or very serious, comorbid condition. Treatment did not have an independent effect on cause of death (i.e., death with vs. from PrCa).

CONCLUSIONS: Comorbidity was an independent predictor of dying with PrCa, even after adjustment for ethnicity, age, and treatment. Given the as yet unproven benefit of PrCa screening, our results extend the body of information relevant to the screening decision; among men dying with a diagnosis of PrCa, only about 1/3 to 1/2 died from the disease.

DOI of Published Version



J Clin Epidemiol. 2004 Jul;57(7):721-9. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of clinical epidemiology

PubMed ID


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Link to Article in PubMed