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Disparities in Mortality from Noncancer Causes among Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer


Anderson, Chelsea; Lund, Jennifer L.; Weaver, Mark A.; Wood, William A.; Olshan, Andrew F.; & Nichols, Hazel B. (2019). Disparities in Mortality from Noncancer Causes among Adolescents and Young Adults with Cancer. Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention, 28(9), 1417-1426. PMCID: PMC6726505


BACKGROUND: Few studies have examined noncancer outcomes among patients diagnosed with cancer as adolescents and young adults (AYA). We examined risk of mortality from noncancer causes after an AYA cancer diagnosis and investigated disparities according to race/ethnicity and other characteristics.
METHODS: Patients with a first primary cancer at ages 15 to 39 years diagnosed during 1987 to 2015 were identified in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database (N = 242,940 women, 158,347 men). Survival months were accrued from diagnosis until death or December 2015. Multivariable-adjusted HRs were used to examine disparities in mortality from all noncancer causes, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), and infectious diseases (ID) according to race/ethnicity, geographic region, and county-level characteristics.
RESULTS: For all cancer types combined, the 10-year cumulative incidence of noncancer-related death after AYA cancer was 2% and 5% among women and men, respectively. With adjustment for cancer type, all noncancer mortality was increased among non-Hispanic Black AYAs [HR vs. non-Hispanic White: HR(Women) = 2.31; 95% confidence interval (CI): 2.16-2.47; HR(Men) = 2.17; 95% CI: 2.05-2.30] and those in the South (HR vs. Northeast: HR(Women) = 1.18; 95% CI: 1.07-1.29; HR(Men) = 1.42; 95% CI: 1.31-1.55) or in rural counties (HR vs. metro: HR(Women) = 1.74; 95% CI: 1.47-2.07; HR(Men) = 1.57; 95% CI: 1.33-1.86). Mortality from CVD and ID was also elevated among non-Hispanic Black AYAs.
CONCLUSIONS: Results of this study suggest that noncancer mortality after AYA cancer is highest among survivors who are non-Hispanic Black or live in the South or in rural counties. IMPACT: Our analyses highlight disparities among AYAs with cancer and identify subgroups that may be targeted for increased medical surveillance or behavioral interventions.


Reference Type

Journal Article

Year Published


Journal Title

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention


Anderson, Chelsea
Lund, Jennifer L.
Weaver, Mark A.
Wood, William A.
Olshan, Andrew F.
Nichols, Hazel B.