Changes in the prevalence of comorbidity in the Australian population with cancer, 2007–2014

Huah Shin Ng, Bogda Koczwara, David Roder, Agnes Vitry

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    7 Citations (Scopus)


    Background: Coexistence of multiple chronic diseases is highly prevalent among the cancer population. This study aims to assess changes in the prevalence of chronic conditions among the population with cancer compared to the Australian general population between 2007 and 2014. Methods: Data from three successive National Health Surveys conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics between 2007 and 2014 were utilized. Comparisons were made between the samples of the Australian population aged 25 years and above with a history of cancer and those respondents who did not report having had a cancer using logistics regression models. Results: People with a history of cancer had significantly higher odds of reporting non-infectious comorbidity compared to the non-cancer groups across the three surveys. There were no significant changes in the prevalence of diseases affecting circulatory, musculoskeletal, digestive, nervous system, blood and blood forming organs, eye, skin and infectious and parasitic diseases over time among the population with cancer. The prevalence of mental and behavioural problems, endocrine, nutritional and metabolic diseases, and diseases of respiratory and genitourinary system has increased over time among the cancer survivors. Conclusion: Comorbidity is more prevalent among the cancer population than the general population without cancer. The prevalence of comorbidity was fairly stable for most but not all comorbidities in the population with cancer over the eight-year study period. Further studies on the impacts of coordinated care models for the management of multi-morbidity experienced by cancer survivors that align with the ‘National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions’ are needed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)56-62
    Number of pages7
    JournalCancer Epidemiology
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2018


    • Australia
    • cancer
    • comorbidity
    • epidemiology
    • Prevalence
    • Comorbidity
    • Epidemiology
    • Cancer


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