Non-cancer adverse health conditions and perceived health and function among cancer survivors participating in a community-based cohort study in Washington County, Maryland



This study was conducted in an ongoing community-based cohort study to examine the prevalence of non-cancer adverse health conditions among cancer survivors and the association of these conditions with self-rated health and functional status.


Data were analyzed from CLUE II, a community-based cohort study in Washington County, Maryland that began in 1989. Cross-sectional comparisons were made between 1,261 cancer survivors and 1,261 age- and gender-matched individuals without a history of cancer. Information on non-cancer adverse health conditions, self-rated health, and activities of daily living was based on self-report.


Compared to individuals without a history of cancer, cancer survivors were significantly more likely to report a diagnosis of cardiovascular disease (33.8% versus 29.8%; p = 0.009) and endocrine disease (other than diabetes) (17.0% versus 14.3%; p = 0.02). Further, cancer survivors reporting two or more non-cancer adverse health conditions had a greater likelihood of reporting fair or poor self-rated health (odds ratio (OR) 4.11; 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 3.06, 5.54), and difficulty with at least one activity of daily living (OR 6.03; 95% CI 4.01, 9.05) compared to cancer survivors who did not report other adverse health conditions.


Findings from this cross-sectional data analysis indicate that cancer survivors are at increased risk for non-cancer adverse health conditions, which are associated with poorer self-rated health, more interference with normal activities, and functional limitations.

Implications for Cancer Survivors

Increased attention must be given to the preventive care and treatment of non-cancer adverse health conditions among cancer survivors to decrease non-cancer morbidity and mortality and to maintain and improve quality of life.

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Correspondence to Lisa Gallicchio.

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Gallicchio, L., Kalesan, B., Hoffman, S.C. et al. Non-cancer adverse health conditions and perceived health and function among cancer survivors participating in a community-based cohort study in Washington County, Maryland. J Cancer Surviv 2, 12–19 (2008).

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  • Survivor
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