Publication Abstract

Authors: Huang MH, Blackwood J, Godoshian M, Pfalzer L

Title: Prevalence of self-reported falls, balance or walking problems in older cancer survivors from Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results-Medicare Health Outcomes Survey.

Journal: J Geriatr Oncol 8(4):255-261

Date: 2017 Jul

Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine the prevalence of falls and balance/walking problems in the past 12months among older cancer survivors before and after cancer diagnosis. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We analyzed cross-sectional data from individuals aged ≥65years with first primary cancer from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results and Medicare Health Outcomes Survey (SEER-MHOS) linkage (n=12,659). The first MHOS completed by each survivor from 0 to 2years before cancer diagnosis to 1-4years after cancer diagnosis were included. We estimated unadjusted and demographic-adjusted prevalence of falls and balance/walking problems for each type of cancer during five one-year time periods before and after cancer diagnosis. RESULTS: Adjusted prevalence of falls was significantly higher post-diagnosis than pre-diagnosis in prostate (12% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 17%-20% during years 1-4 post-diagnosis)(p=0.01) and lung cancer (17% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 28% during years 1-2 post-diagnosis)(p=0.019). Adjusted prevalence of balance/walking problems were significantly higher post-diagnosis than pre-diagnosis in non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (26% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 45% during years 1-2 post-diagnosis)(p=0.012), breast (32% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 41% during years 3-4 post-diagnosis)(p=0.001), prostate (22% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 28%-29% during years 1-4 post-diagnosis)(p=0.012), and lung cancer (33% during years 1-2 pre-diagnosis vs. 40% during year 0-1 pre-diagnosis and 46% during years 1-2 post-diagnosis)(p=0.018). Prevalence did not differ across time periods in other cancers. CONCLUSIONS: Falls and balance/walking problems may become more frequent after the diagnosis of some cancers. Screening, surveillance, and interventions need to consider functional deficits and cancer diagnosis.