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 journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Purpose Socioeconomic status (SES) influences health care outcomes, but the influence of primary payeroncancer-associated wasting is unknown.Wehypothesized 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 of64 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)237-e220
JournalJournal of oncology practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Oncology(nursing)
  • Health Policy


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