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      Survival associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease among SEER-Medicare beneficiaries with non-small-cell lung cancer

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          Objective: We investigated the impact of preexisting COPD and its subtypes, chronic bronchitis and emphysema, on overall survival among Medicare enrollees diagnosed with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

          Methods: Using SEER-Medicare data, we included patients ≥66 years of age diagnosed with NSCLC at any disease stage between 2006 and 2010 and continuously enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B in the 12 months prior to diagnosis. Preexisting COPD in patients with NSCLC were identified using ICD-9 codes. Kaplan–Meier method and log-rank tests were used to examine overall survival by COPD status and COPD subtype. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards models were fit to assess the risk of death after cancer diagnosis.

          Results: We identified 66,963 lung cancer patients. Of these, 22,497 (33.60%) had documented COPD before NSCLC diagnosis. For each stage of NSCLC, median survival was shorter in the COPD compared to the non-COPD group (Stage I: 692 days vs 1,130 days, P<0.0001; Stage II: 473 days vs 627 days, P<0.0001; Stage III: 224 days vs 229 days; P<0.0001; Stage IV: 106 days vs 112 days, P<0.0001). For COPD subtype, median survival for patients with preexisting chronic bronchitis was shorter compared to emphysema across all stages of NSCLC (Stage I: 672 days vs 811 days, P<0.0001; Stage II 582 days vs 445 days, P<0.0001; Stage III: 255 days vs 229 days, P<0.0001; Stage IV: 105 days vs 112 days, P<0.0001). In Cox proportional hazard model, COPD patients exhibited 11% increase in risk of death than non-COPD patients (HR: 1.11, 95%CI: 1.09–1.13).

          Conclusion: NSCLC patients with preexisting COPD had shorter survival with marked differences in early stages of lung cancer. Chronic bronchitis demonstrated a greater association with time to death than emphysema.

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          Most cited references 31

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          The effects of a smoking cessation intervention on 14.5-year mortality: a randomized clinical trial.

          Randomized clinical trials have not yet demonstrated the mortality benefit of smoking cessation. To assess the long-term effect on mortality of a randomly applied smoking cessation program. The Lung Health Study was a randomized clinical trial of smoking cessation. Special intervention participants received the smoking intervention program and were compared with usual care participants. Vital status was followed up to 14.5 years. 10 clinical centers in the United States and Canada. 5887 middle-aged volunteers with asymptomatic airway obstruction. All-cause mortality and mortality due to cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and other respiratory disease. The intervention was a 10-week smoking cessation program that included a strong physician message and 12 group sessions using behavior modification and nicotine gum, plus either ipratropium or a placebo inhaler. At 5 years, 21.7% of special intervention participants had stopped smoking since study entry compared with 5.4% of usual care participants. After up to 14.5 years of follow-up, 731 patients died: 33% of lung cancer, 22% of cardiovascular disease, 7.8% of respiratory disease other than cancer, and 2.3% of unknown causes. All-cause mortality was significantly lower in the special intervention group than in the usual care group (8.83 per 1000 person-years vs. 10.38 per 1000 person-years; P = 0.03). The hazard ratio for mortality in the usual care group compared with the special intervention group was 1.18 (95% CI, 1.02 to 1.37). Differences in death rates for both lung cancer and cardiovascular disease were greater when death rates were analyzed by smoking habit. Results apply only to individuals with airway obstruction. Smoking cessation intervention programs can have a substantial effect on subsequent mortality, even when successful in a minority of participants.
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            COPD prevalence is increased in lung cancer, independent of age, sex and smoking history.

            Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a common comorbid disease in lung cancer, estimated to affect 40-70% of lung cancer patients, depending on diagnostic criteria. As smoking exposure is found in 85-90% of those diagnosed with either COPD or lung cancer, coexisting disease could merely reflect a shared smoking exposure. Potential confounding by age, sex and pack-yr smoking history, and/or by the possible effects of lung cancer on spirometry, may result in over-diagnosis of COPD prevalence. In the present study, the prevalence of COPD (pre-bronchodilator Global Initiative for Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease 2+ criteria) in patients diagnosed with lung cancer was 50% compared with 8% in a randomly recruited community control group, matched for age, sex and pack-yr smoking exposure (n = 602, odds ratio 11.6; p<0.0001). In a subgroup analysis of those with lung cancer and lung function measured prior to the diagnosis of lung cancer (n = 127), we found a nonsignificant increase in COPD prevalence following diagnosis (56-61%; p = 0.45). After controlling for important variables, the prevalence of COPD in newly diagnosed lung cancer cases was six-fold greater than in matched smokers; this is much greater than previously reported. We conclude that COPD is both a common and important independent risk factor for lung cancer.
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              Development of a comorbidity index using physician claims data.

              Important comorbidities recorded on outpatient claims in administrative datasets may be missed in analyses when only inpatient care is considered. Using the comorbid conditions identified by Charlson and colleagues, we developed a comorbidity index that incorporates the diagnostic and procedure data contained in Medicare physician (Part B) claims. In the national cohorts of elderly prostate (n = 28,868) and breast cancer (n = 14,943) patients assessed in this study, less than 10% of patients had comorbid conditions identified when only Medicare hospital (Part A) claims were examined. By incorporating physician claims, the proportion of patients with comorbid conditions increased to 25%. The new physician claims comorbidity index significantly contributes to models of 2-year noncancer mortality and treatment received in both patient cohorts. We demonstrate the utility of a disease-specific index using an alternative method of construction employing study-specific weights. The physician claims index can be used in conjunction with a comorbidity index derived from inpatient hospital claims, or employed as a stand-alone measure.

                Author and article information

                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                Int J Chron Obstruct Pulmon Dis
                International Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
                29 April 2019
                : 14
                : 893-903
                [1 ]Department of Public Health Sciences, University of North Carolina at Charlotte , Charlotte, NC, USA
                [2 ]Department of Kinesiology, University of North Carolina at Charlotte , Charlotte, NC, USA
                [3 ]Levine Cancer Institute, Carolinas Healthcare System , Charlotte, NC, USA
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Shweta ShahUniversity of North Carolina at Charlotte , 9201 University City Bvld, NC28223, USAEmail Shweta.kshah1@
                © 2019 Shah et al.

                This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited. The full terms of this license are available at and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed. For permission for commercial use of this work, please see paragraphs 4.2 and 5 of our Terms (

                Page count
                Figures: 2, Tables: 3, References: 43, Pages: 11
                Original Research


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