Prognostic impact of marital status on survival of women with epithelial ovarian cancer

Haider Mahdi, Sanjeev Kumar, Adnan R Munkarah, Moshrik Abdalamir, Mark Doherty, Ron Swensen
Psycho-oncology 2013, 22 (1): 83-8

OBJECTIVES: The objective of this study is to examine the impact of marital status on survival of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).

METHODS: Patients with a diagnosis of EOC were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program for the period 1988-2006 and divided into married and unmarried groups. Statistical analysis using Student's t-test, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox regression proportional hazards was performed.

RESULTS: In 49,777 patients with EOC, 51.2% were married and 48.8% were unmarried. White women were likely to be married compared with African Americans (52.0% vs 32.4%, p < 0.05). Younger age (63.9% vs 43.4%, p < 0.001) and early stage disease (37.5% vs 33.8%, p < 0.001) were more prominent in married patients compared with unmarried patients. Staging lymphadenectomy was performed more frequently in married than unmarried patients (39.9% vs 29.8%, p < 0.001). Overall 5-year survival was 45.0% for married patients and 33.1% for unmarried patients, p < 0.001. Married patients had a better survival compared with unmarried patients within each racial subgroup: 44.5% vs 33.3% for White women (p < 0.001), 36.9% vs 24.9% for African Americans (p < 0.001), and 53.7% vs 42.7% for others (p < 0.001), respectively. In a model that controlled for age, race, histology, stage, grade, and surgical treatment, married patients had a significantly improved survival compared with unmarried patients (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.78-0.83, p < 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: In this epidemiologic study, the social institution of marriage is associated with improved survival in women with ovarian cancer.

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