Prostate Cancer Coverage from Every Angle

Causes of Death Unrelated to Prostate Cancer in the United States: 16-Year Cohort Study

By: Hope Craig, MSPH
Posted: Friday, October 1, 2021

Published in JAMA Network Open, the results of a retrospective cohort study assessed the causes of death in the United States among men with metastatic prostate cancer from 2000 to 2016, with particular attention to causes of death unrelated to cancer. Omar Alhalabi, MD, of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, and colleagues observed that cardiovascular disease and other causes unrelated to cancer were responsible for a “substantial number of deaths” among this patient population.

“Therapy and follow-up should be tailored to the needs of each patient with metastatic prostate cancer, and counseling regarding future health risks should be provided,” the investigators proposed.

The study authors analyzed data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program database of more than 26,000 men who received a diagnosis of metastatic prostate cancer between 2000 and 2016. Most men (72.7 %) had stage M1b metastatic prostate cancer, and the mean age at diagnosis was 70.8 years old. Most patients were White (74.5 %), and nearly half were between 50 and 70 years old.

More than 60% of patients (n = 16,732) died during the follow-up period, with a mean age at death of 74.1. Many deaths (59%) occurred within 2 years of diagnosis. Though the majority of deaths were attributable to prostate cancer (n = 13,011, 77.8%), a large number (n = 2,797, 16.7%) were attributable to causes unrelated to cancer, including cardiovascular diseases (standardized mortality ratio [SMR] = 1.34; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.26–1.42), chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (SMR = 1.19; 95% CI = 1.03–1.36), and cerebrovascular diseases (SMR = 1.31; 95% CI = 1.13–1.50). Further, causes of death unrelated to prostate cancer accounted for a greater percentage of deaths among older patients compared with younger patients. Less than 6% (n = 924) of deaths were due to other cancers.

Disclosure: Full authors’ disclosures are available at

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