The prevalence of chronic conditions in patients diagnosed with one of 29 common and rarer cancers: A cross-sectional study using primary care data

Pre-existing chronic conditions influence the diagnosis and management of cancer yet the prevalence of specific morbidities in patients diagnosed with common and rarer cancers is inadequately described. Using data from the English National Cancer Diagnosis Audit 2014, researchers investigated 11 pre-existing morbidities recorded as yes/no items by in primary care records. They found 77 % of non-screen-detected patients had at least one chronic condition before diagnosis, while 47 % had two or more. Hypertension (39 %) and physical disability (2%) were the most and least common conditions. Male, older and more socio-economically deprived patients were more likely to have at least one morbidity. For most morbidities, the prevalence was similar across different cancers with a few exceptions, including respiratory disease prevalence being greatest among lung cancer patients and diabetes prevalence being greatest among liver, pancreatic, and endometrial cancer patients. These results demonstrate that the majority of cancer patients have pre-existing conditions, which needs to be taken into consideration throughout their cancer clinical management. It also highlights the need to take certain morbidity- and cancer-site combinations into account when examining associations between morbidity and cancer outcomes.

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