Original Article

Age at diagnosis is a heterogeneous factor for non-small cell lung cancer patients

Tao Chen, Fangyu Zhou, Weili Jiang, Rui Mao, Hui Zheng, Linlin Qin, Chang Chen


Background: The incidence of lung cancer is reported as age dependent. However, the link between survival and age at diagnosis remains controversial. To date, few studies have examined the relationship between age and the clinicopathologic characteristics of patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
Methods: Using the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) database, we included in our analysis 151,919 patients diagnosed with NSCLC between 2004 and 2013. Logistic regression was used to evaluate the associations between age and clinicopathological characteristics. N and M stages were separately assessed in each T stage.
Results: Of the patients enrolled, 60,271 patients were diagnosed at the M1 stage, 147,263 patients had lymph node metastasis, and 49,862 patients underwent surgery. Younger age was inversely associated with high N stage and M stage (P<0.001, respectively). For each T stage, the inverse associations with M1 stage and lymph node metastasis were also presented (P<0.001, respectively). Age was an independent risk predictor for NSCLC patients by using univariate and multivariate analyses.
Conclusions: Age at diagnosis is a heterogeneous factor for NSCLC patients: younger patients have an increased risk of lymph node and distant metastases, yet have a better prognosis.

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