Table of Contents
ISRN Oncology
Volume 2011, Article ID 415790, 9 pages
Research Article

Cancer Risk and Behavioral Factors, Comorbidities, and Functional Status in the US Elderly Population

1Center for Population Health and Aging, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708, USA
2Duke Cancer Institute, Duke University, Durham, NC 27705, USA

Received 11 April 2011; Accepted 30 April 2011

Academic Editor: C. N. Qian

Copyright © 2011 Igor Akushevich et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


About 80% of all cancers are diagnosed in the elderly and up to 75% of cancers are associated with behavioral factors. An approach to estimate the contribution of various measurable factors, including behavior/lifestyle, to cancer risk in the US elderly population is presented. The nationally representative National Long-Term Care Survey (NLTCS) data were used for measuring functional status and behavioral factors in the US elderly population (65+), and Medicare Claims files linked to each person from the NLTCS were used for estimating cancer incidence. The associations (i.e., relative risks) of selected factors with risks of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancers were evaluated and discussed. Behavioral risk factors significantly affected cancer risks in the US elderly. The most influential of potentially preventable risk factors can be detected with this approach using NLTCS-Medicare linked dataset and for further deeper analyses employing other datasets with detailed risk factors description.