Trajectory of aging following diagnosis of cancer.

TitleTrajectory of aging following diagnosis of cancer.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2022
AuthorsSimons, M, Lyu, C, Osman, I, Zhong, H
JournalJournal of Clinical Oncology
KeywordsADL, cancer diagnosis, cognitive function, IADL, Physical function

Background: Aging is a nebulous concept with several definitions, but they all generally include physical and cognitive decline in function as a key component. We hypothesized that following cancer diagnosis, patients decline in physical and cognitive function would correspond with accelerated and/or accentuated aging trajectories. The magnitude of the functional changes could inform strategies to minimize impact of cancer diagnosis on trajectory of aging. Methods: We analyzed 32,935 participants >50 years enrolled between 1995-2018 in the Health and Retirement Study (HRS), a population-based, biennial longitudinal health interview survey of older adults in the United States. We assessed the changes in physical and cognitive function among cancer patients controlling for their pre-cancer trajectories and comparing it with aged population with no cancer diagnosis as control. The primary outcomes were change in physical function (Activities of Daily Living (ADL) and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living (IADL): range 0–11) and global cognitive function (Telephone Interview for Cognitive Status (TICS): range 0–27). The secondary outcome was change in self-rated health (SRH: range 1-5). We estimated the effect of acute change based on the immediate post-cancer outcome measurements compared to the trajectories before cancer; and the long-term effect as the per-year change in outcome decline post cancer compared to aging of cancer-free respondents adjusting covariates by linear mixed models. Results: 5,101 developed incident cancer: 1,514 in the 50-64 age group, 1,901 in the 65-74 age group, and 1,686 in the 75+ age group. 27,834 participants were cancer-free throughout. Cancer was associated with acute declines in physical function (0.06 [0.01– 0.10] and 0.25 [0.14– 0.36] points), cognitive function (0.22 [0.04–0.39] and 0.24 [0.01– 0.46] points), and SRH (0.19 [0.14–0.23] and 0.22 [0.12–0.33] points) for age of onset groups 50- and 75+ respectively. Moreover, participants with cancer demonstrated accelerated decline in physical function (0.02 [0.01–0.03], and 0.06 [0.05–0.07] points per year faster for 50-74 and 75+ age-of-onset groups respectively) compared to cancer-free participants, but not in cognitive and SRH. Lung, colorectal & breast cancer were associated with the highest acute and accelerated decline in functions, while prostate cancer was associated with moderate and insignificant decline. Conclusions: Using 24 years of nationally representative longitudinal data, this study provides, for the first time, evidence for the heterogeneous aging trajectories of cancer patients across varying age-of-onset and cancer types. Our results supported an accelerated aging trajectory of physical function with increased acceleration with increasing age-of-onset compared to the non-cancer population. It also provides evidence for accentuated aging trajectories of cognitive function and self-rated health.

Citation Keydoi:10.1200/JCO.2022.40.16_suppl.12087