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Cause of death in men diagnosed with prostate carcinoma

BACKGROUND: Prostate carcinoma is one of the leading causes of death in men. Although the mortality rate is high, it still may underestimate the number of deaths associated with the disease. This study was conducted to compare causes of death among men previously diagnosed with prostate carcinoma and to examine the extent to which differences in cause of death (death from prostate carcinoma vs. death from other causes) varied by age, race, clinical factors, and comorbid conditions. METHODS: A review was conducted of the medical records of decedent members of the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care program who previously were diagnosed with prostate carcinoma between January 1980 and December 1984 (n=584). The review focused on demographic factors, symptoms, diagnostic tests, stage of disease, and treatment. Data on comorbidity were obtained from a computerized discharge summary. Logistic regression analysis was used to estimate odds ratios. RESULTS: Approximately 54% of the decedent prostate carcinoma patients died of their prostate carcinoma. Decedents who were black, age < or = 65 years, diagnosed with more advanced disease stage, recipients of hormonal therapy, and whose death occurred > 6 months after diagnosis were more likely than others to die of prostate carcinoma. In contrast, the likelihood of dying of some other cause was associated with concurrent cardiovascular disease, after adjustment for the effects of race, age, and disease stage. There also were significant two-way age-race and age-time-to-death interactions. CONCLUSIONS: The prognostic significance of cardiovascular disease in prostate carcinoma patients should be investigated in subsequent survival studies. A number of questions need to be addressed delineating the complex relations between coexisting diseases and their treatment.

Authors: Satariano WA; Ragland KE; Van Den Eeden SK

Cancer. 1998 Sep 15;83(6):1180-8.

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