Authors: Huang MH, Blackwood J, Godoshian M, Pfalzer L
Title: Factors associated with self-reported falls, balance or walking difficulty in older survivors of breast, colorectal, lung, or prostate cancer: Results from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey linkage.
Journal: PLoS One 13(12):e0208573-
PubMed ID: 30566443
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Cancer and its treatment affect body systems that are important in preventing falls and controlling balance/walking. This study examined factors associated with self-reported falls and balance/walking difficulty in the past 12 months in older survivors of four major cancers. METHODS: This was a cross-sectional study analyzing population-based data from Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (SEER-MHOS). Data from cohorts 9 to 14 (January 2006 to December 2013) were extracted. Inclusion criteria were: age ≥65 years at cancer diagnosis, first MHOS completed during years 1-5 post-cancer diagnosis, first primary breast (n = 2725), colorectal (n = 1646), lung (n = 752), and prostate (n = 4245) cancer, and availability of cancer staging information. Primary outcomes were self-reported falls and balance/walking difficulty in the past 12 months. Multivariable logistic regression was constructed for each cancer type to examine independent factors associated with falls and balance/walking difficulty. RESULTS: In all cancer types, advancing age at cancer diagnosis and dependence in activities of daily living were significant independent factors associated with increased odds of reporting falls and balance/walking difficulty in the past 12 months. Additionally, depression was independently associated with falls and sensory impairment in feet was independently linked to balance/walking difficulty in all cancer types. Other independent factors of falls and balance/walking difficulty varied across cancer types. In breast cancer only, localized or regional cancer stage was significantly associated with increased odds of reporting falls and balance/walking difficulty, whereas treatment with radiation decreased the odds of falling. No association between falls and balance/walking difficulty with time since cancer diagnosis, cancer stage, or cancer treatment was found in colorectal, lung, and prostate cancer. CONCLUSION: There exists some heterogeneity in factors associated with self-reported falls and balance/walking difficulty between different cancer types. Future research is necessary to ascertain factors predictive of falls and balance/walking difficulty in older cancer survivors, particularly factors related to cancer diagnosis and treatment.