Publication Abstract

Authors: Luo J, Lin HC, He K, Hendryx M

Title: Diabetes and prognosis in older persons with colorectal cancer.

Journal: Br J Cancer 110(7):1847-54

Date: 2014 Apr 02

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies have reported that diabetes significantly increases overall mortality in patients with colorectal cancer. However, it is unclear whether diabetes increases colorectal cancer-specific mortality. We used the US Surveillance Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database linked with Medicare claims data to assess the influence of pre-existing diabetes on prognosis of patients with colorectal cancer. METHODS: Data from 61,213 patients aged 67 or older with colorectal cancer diagnosed between 2003 and 2009 were extracted and prospectively followed through the date of death or the end of 2012 if the patient was still alive. Diabetes cases with and without complications were identified based on an algorithm developed for the Chronic Condition Data Warehouse (CCW). Cox models were used to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) for total mortality. The proportional subdistribution hazards model proposed by Fine and Gray was used to estimate HRs for colorectal cancer-specific mortality. RESULTS: Compared with patients without diabetes, colorectal cancer patients with pre-existing diabetes had significantly higher risk of overall mortality (HR=1.20, 95 % confidence interval (95% CI): 1.17-1.23). The HR for overall mortality was more pronounced for patients who had diabetes with complications (HR=1.50, 95% CI: 1.42-1.58). However, diabetes was not associated with increased colorectal cancer-specific mortality after accounting for non-colorectal cancer outcomes as competing risk. CONCLUSIONS: Pre-existing diabetes increased risk of total mortality among patients with colorectal cancer, especially among cancer patients who had diabetes with complications. The increased risk of total mortality associated with diabetes was primarily explained by increased cardiovascular-specific mortality, not by increased colorectal cancer-specific mortality.