Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 27, Issue 5, pp 492–499 | Cite as

Comorbidities, Treatment and Ensuing Survival in Men with Prostate Cancer

  • Karim ChamieEmail author
  • Timothy J. Daskivich
  • Lorna Kwan
  • Jessica Labo
  • Atreya Dash
  • Sheldon Greenfield
  • Mark S. Litwin
Original Research



Comorbidity is poorly integrated into prostate cancer decision making.


We sought to characterize treatment type and subsequent survival for men with no more than a single comorbid condition.

Design and Participants

We conducted a retrospective study of 1,031 veterans with non-metastatic prostate cancer diagnosed in 1997–2004 at the Greater Los Angeles and Long Beach Veterans Affairs Medical Centers and followed until 2010. We used multivariate analyses to determine probabilities and relative risks of undergoing treatment for each health state and competing-risks regression analyses to model non-prostate cancer mortality.


Compared with subjects without any comorbid conditions, only men with moderate–severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease were less likely to receive definitive treatment for their prostate cancer (RR 0.74; 95% CI 0.44–0.99). Men with all other individual comorbidities were equally likely as men without comorbidity to receive definitive treatment. Compared with men without any comorbidities, a higher hazard rate for non-prostate cancer mortality was identified among men with diabetes without end-organ damage (HR 2.32; 95% CI 1.32–4.08), peripheral vascular disease (HR 2.77; 95% CI 1.14–6.73), moderate-severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (HR 5.46; 95% CI 2.68–11.12), diabetes with end-organ damage (HR 4.27; 95% CI 1.64–11.10), those in need of a mobility device (HR 3.29; 95% CI 1.87–5.80), and men with history of alcoholism (HR 1.77; 95% CI 1.07–2.93).


Men with comorbid conditions and health states that portend poor prognoses are nonetheless aggressively treated for their prostate cancer. Advancing age modulates this effect.


prostatic neoplasms comorbidity outcome assessment survival treatment mismatch 


Author Contributions

Dr. Chamie and Lorna Kwan had full access to all of the data in the study and take responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the analysis.

Conflicts of Interest

None disclosed.

Funding Source

This work was supported by the American Cancer Society (117496-PF-09-147-01-CPHPS (Principal Investigator: KC)); Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Extramural (1 F32 CA144461-01 (Principal Investigator: KC)); Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center Seed Grant (Principal Investigator: MSL)); and National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (N01-DK-1-2460 (Principal investigator: M.S.L.))

Financial Disclosures

No financial disclosures to report.


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Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karim Chamie
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Timothy J. Daskivich
    • 1
    • 3
  • Lorna Kwan
    • 2
  • Jessica Labo
    • 1
  • Atreya Dash
    • 4
    • 5
  • Sheldon Greenfield
    • 6
    • 7
  • Mark S. Litwin
    • 1
    • 2
    • 8
  1. 1.UCLA Department of Urology, Health Services Research GroupLos AngelesUSA
  2. 2.Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, UCLALos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare SystemLos AngelesUSA
  4. 4.Veterans Affairs Long Beach Healthcare SystemLong BeachUSA
  5. 5.Department of UrologyUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  6. 6.Department of MedicineUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  7. 7.Health Policy Research InstituteUniversity of California, IrvineIrvineUSA
  8. 8.Department of Health ServicesSchool of Public Health, UCLALos AngelesUSA

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