Sociodemographic correlates of head and neck cancer survival among patients with metastatic disease

Head and Neck Cancer

Pannu JS, et al. Head Neck 2020.


BACKGROUND: To describe sociodemographic factors associated with head and neck cancer (HNC) survival among patients with distant metastatic disease.

METHODS: We retrospectively analyzed national data for 2889 adult patients with metastatic HNC (2007-2015). We used Fine and Gray competing risks proportional hazard models, stratified by oropharyngeal cancer status, controlled for sociodemographic factors (age, sex, race/ethnicity, marital status, and insurance status), and accounted for multiple testing.

RESULTS: Median survival time was 11 months (15 months for patients married/partnered; 13 months for patients with non-Medicaid insurance; P < .01). Among patients with oropharyngeal cancer, being married/partnered was associated with lower mortality hazard (sdHRdivorced/separated = 1.37, 97.5% confidence interval [CI] = 1.07, 1.75; and sdHRnever married = 1.43, 97.5% CI = 1.14, 1.80), as was having non-Medicaid insurance (sdHRuninsured = 1.44, 97.5% CI = 1.02, 2.04).

CONCLUSIONS: Health insurance and marital status are sociodemographic factors associated with survival among HNC patients with distant metastatic disease, especially in oropharyngeal cases.