Obese women with breast cancer have poorer breast cancer specific survival compared with non-obese women, after adjustment for common prognostic factors.1
To compare socioeconomic status (SES) and comorbidities in obese and non-obese women undergoing adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer.
We conducted a retrospective chart audit of 550 women treated between 2000-2011 with adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer at a large Brisbane tertiary hospital. Cases were sequentially selected from the hospital’s oncology management and chemotherapy databases. Demographics and comorbidities were extracted from patient charts. SES was determined using the 2011 Socio-Economic Indexes for Areas tabulation. Comorbidities were categorised using the Charlson Comorbidity Index. Univariate analyses were performed to determine the relationship between obesity and SES or presence of comorbidities in the breast cancer population.
358 women were eligible for inclusion. Obese women (Body Mass Index > 30kg/m2) accounted for 30.5% of the population and were more likely to be socially disadvantaged (OR=1.74; 95% CI 1.06-2.89; p=0.040) and have comorbid disease (OR=3.63; 95% CI 2.20-6.00; p<0.001) compared to non-obese women. Obese women were at greater risk of having diabetes (OR=2.89; 95%CI 1.36-6.15, p=0.008).
Obese women with breast cancer are more likely to be socially disadvantaged and have comorbid disease compared to non-obese women. As social disadvantage can affect education and access to resources, and comorbidity can affect treatment options, these factors are important to include in study design to improve cancer outcomes.