Comorbid Conditions in Patients With Metastatic Colorectal Cancer

Alex Z Fu, Zhongyun Zhao, Sue Gao, Beth Barber, Gordon G Liu


Background: Patients with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) often have other medical conditions that may impact treatment decisions, prognoses and quality of care. We aimed to assess co-existing medical conditions in the mCRC patient population. This retrospective cohort study used linked medical and pharmacy claims data from two US-based Medstat MarketScan claims databases and identified patients with newly diagnosed mCRC between January 2005 and June 2008.

Methods: Patient data were analyzed for comorbid conditions and medication use in the year prior to diagnosis of mCRC. Univariate analyses were conducted to compare the comorbid conditions between patients aged >=65 and < 65 years old. In total, 12 648 patients aged >= 18 years were identified. The study was evenly populated by gender and age above and below 65, and most patients had a primary diagnosis of colon cancer (70.1%).

Results: The most prevalent comorbidity was cardiovascular disease (CVD) (55.7% of patients) including hypertension (40.8%), cardiac dysrhythmia (14.2%), coronary artery disease (13.5%), congestive heart failure (7.2%) and arterial and venous thromboembolism (6.2% and 4.6%, respectively). Most comorbidities were significantly more prevalent in patients >= 65 years of age, particularly with respect to CVD (67.9% versus 42.5%, respectively; P < 0.0001). Additionally, nearly half (49.7%) of the patients received antihypertensive agents and many patients were prescribed more than one class of medications prior to mCRC diagnosis.

Conclusions: Comorbid medical conditions, particularly CVDs, are common in patients with mCRC, which could increase the complexity of patient management. This should be a consideration integral to the selection of the most appropriate treatment for individual patients.

World J Oncol. 2011;2(5):225-231


Cardiovascular disease; Comorbidities; Metastatic colorectal cancer; Patient management

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