Impact of Socioeconomic Status on Pretreatment Weight Loss and Survival in Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer

Steven K.M. Lau, Bhavani S. Gannavarapu, Kristen Carter, Ang Gao, Chul Ahn, Jeffrey J. Meyer, David J. Sher, Aminah Jatoi, Rodney Infante, Puneeth Iyengar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


PURPOSE: Socioeconomic status (SES) influences health care outcomes, but the influence of primary payer on cancer-associated wasting is unknown. We hypothesized that primary payer as an indicator of SES would influence pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss and treatment outcomes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Retrospective review of medical records identified 1,366 patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) consecutively treated at a tertiary care health system between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2013. Insurance status was obtained from an institutional tumor registry. Cancer-associated weight loss was based on the validated international consensus definition of cachexia. Multivariable regression analyses were used to identify prognostic factors of pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss and survival. RESULTS: The cohort included a representative group of patients with a median age at diagnosis of 64 years, 47% females, and 33% patients of nonwhite race. Pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss was present at the time of NSCLC diagnosis in 17%, 14%, 32%, and 38% of patients with stage I, II, III, and IV disease, respectively. Pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss was associated with increasing age at diagnosis, black race, single marital status, tobacco use, and disease stage. Compared with private insurance, Medicaid insurance (odds ratio, 2.17; 95% CI, 1.42 to 3.30) and lack of insurance (odds ratio, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.50 to 3.58) were associated with pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss. Among cachectic patients, comorbidity, histology, tumor grade, and disease stage were prognostic of survival on multivariable analysis; however, primary payer was not. CONCLUSION: Pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss is common in patients with NSCLC, and its presence is significantly associated with lower SES. However, among patients with pretreatment cancer-associated weight loss, SES was not predictive of survival. Early use of cancer cachexia-directed therapies may improve outcomes, and further study on the biologic mechanisms of cancer cachexia will provide novel therapeutic avenues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e211-e220
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy

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