Prevalence and incidence of comorbidities in elderly women with ovarian cancer

Victoria M. Chia, Cynthia D. O'Malley, Mark D. Danese, Karla J. Lindquist, Michelle L. Gleeson, Michael A. Kelsh, Robert I. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Studies suggest comorbidity plays an important role in ovarian cancer. We characterized the epidemiology of comorbid conditions in elderly U.S. women with ovarian cancer. Methods: Women with ovarian cancer age ≥ 66 years, and matched cancer-free women, were identified using the National Cancer Institute's Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results registry linked to Medicare claims. Prevalence before diagnosis/index date and 3- and 12-month incidence rates (per 1000 person-years) after diagnosis/index date were estimated for 34 chronic and acute conditions across a broad range of diagnostic categories. Results: There were 5087 each of women with ovarian cancer and cancer-free women. The prevalence of most conditions was similar between cancer and cancer-free patients, but exceptions included hypertension (51.8% and 43.5%, respectively), osteoarthritis (13.4% and 17.3%, respectively), and cerebrovascular disease (8.0% and 9.8%, respectively). In contrast, 3- and 12-month incidence rates (per 1000 person years) of most conditions were significantly higher in cancer than in cancer-free patients: hypertension (177.3 and 47.4, respectively); thromboembolic event (145.3 and 5.5, respectively); congestive heart failure (113.3 and 28.6, respectively); infection (664.4 and 55.2, respectively); and anemia (408.3 and 33.1, respectively) at 12 months. Conclusions: Comorbidities were common among elderly women. After cancer diagnosis, women with ovarian cancer had a much higher incidence of comorbidities than cancer-free women. The high incidence of some of these comorbidities may be related to the cancer or its treatment, but others may have been prevalent but undiagnosed until the cancer diagnosis. The presence of comorbidities may affect treatment decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)346-352
Number of pages7
JournalGynecologic oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2013


  • Comorbidity
  • Disease stage
  • Ovarian cancer
  • SEER Medicare
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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