Mortality risk from comorbidities independent of triple-negative breast cancer status: NCI-SEER-based cohort analysis. Academic Article uri icon


  • A comparatively high prevalence of comorbidities among African-American/Blacks (AA/B) has been implicated in disparate survival in breast cancer. There is a scarcity of data, however, if this effect persists when accounting for the adverse triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) subtype which occurs at threefold the rate in AA/B compared to white breast cancer patients.We reviewed charts of 214 white and 202 AA/B breast cancer patients in the NCI-SEER Connecticut Tumor Registry who were diagnosed in 2000-2007. We employed the Charlson Co-Morbidity Index (CCI), a weighted 17-item tool to predict risk of death in cancer populations. Cox survival analyses estimated hazard ratios (HRs) for all-cause mortality in relation to TNBC and CCI adjusting for clinicopathological factors.Among patients with SEER local stage, TNBC increased the risk of death (HR 2.18, 95 % CI 1.14-4.16), which was attenuated when the CCI score was added to the model (Adj. HR 1.50, 95 % CI 0.74-3.01). Conversely, the adverse impact of the CCI score persisted when controlling for TNBC (Adj. HR 1.49, 95 % CI 1.29-1.71; per one point increase). Similar patterns were observed in SEER regional stage, but estimated HRs were lower. AA/B patients with a CCI score of ≥3 had a significantly higher risk of death compared to AA/B patients without comorbidities (Adj. HR 5.65, 95 % CI 2.90-11.02). A lower and nonsignificant effect was observed for whites with a CCI of ≥3 (Adj. HR 1.90, 95 % CI 0.68-5.29).comorbidities at diagnosis increase risk of death independent of TNBC, and AA/B patients may be disproportionately at risk.

publication date

  • March 2016