The impact of comorbidity on mortality in danish sarcoma patients from 2000-2013: A nationwide population-based multicentre study

Mathias Raedkjaer*, Katja Maretty-Kongstad, Thomas Baad-Hansen, Peter Holmberg Jørgensen, Akmal Safwat, Peter Vedsted, Michael Mørk Petersen, Thea Hovgaard, Tine Nymark, Johnny Keller

*Corresponding author for this work

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Introduction Sarcoma is a rare type of cancer. The incidence increases with age and elderly patients may have comorbidity that affects the prognosis. The aim of this study was to describe the type and prevalence of comorbidity in a nationwide population-based study in Denmark from 2000–2013 and to analyse the impact of the different comorbidities on mortality. Material and methods The Danish Sarcoma Registry is a national clinical database containing all patients with sarcoma in the extremities or trunk wall from 2000 and onwards. By linking data to other registries, we were able to get patient information on an individual level including date and cause of death as well as the comorbidity type up to 10 years prior to the sarcoma diagnosis. Based on diseases in the Charlson Comorbidity Index, we pooled the patients into six categories: no comorbidity, cardiopulmonary disease, gastrointestinal disease, neurovascular disease, malignant neoplasms, and miscellaneous (diabetes, renal and connective tissue diseases). 2167 patients were included. Results The prevalence of comorbidity was 20%. For patients with localized disease, comorbidity increased the disease-specific mortality significantly (HR 1.70 (95% CI 1.36–2.13)). For patients with metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, comorbidity did not affect the disease-specific mortality (HR 1.05 (95% CI 0.78–1.42)). The presence of another cancer diagnosis within 10 years prior to the sarcoma diagnosis was the only significant independent prognostic factor of disease-specific mortality with an increase of 66% in mortality rate compared to patients with no comorbidity (HR 1,66 (95% CI 1.22–2.25)). Conclusion Comorbidity is a strong independent prognostic factor of mortality in patients with localized disease. This study emphasizes the need for optimizing the general health of comorbid patients in order to achieve a survival benefit from treatment of patients with localized disease, as this is potentially modifiable.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0198933
Issue number6
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Comorbidity
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Denmark/epidemiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Proportional Hazards Models
  • Registries
  • Sarcoma/diagnosis
  • Survival Rate
  • Young Adult


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