Black Seniors With GI Malignancy More Likely to Be Frail

Black patients also more likely to report limitations in daily living, instrumental activities of daily living

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MONDAY, April 11, 2022 (HealthDay News) -- Among older adults with gastrointestinal (GI) malignancies, Black patients are more likely to be frail and to have limitations in function, according to a study published online April 11 in Cancer.

Grant R. Williams, M.D., M.S.P.H., from the Institute for Cancer Outcomes and Survivorship at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and colleagues used data from the Cancer and Aging Resilience Evaluation Registry, which enrolled older adults (≥60 years) with GI malignancies. The differences in the prevalence and adjusted odds ratios of frailty and geriatric assessment impairments were examined for Black and White participants.

Data were included for 553 patients; 23 percent were Black. The researchers found that the likelihood of being frail was increased for Black patients (50.0 versus 32.7 percent), and they were more likely to report limitations in activities of daily living (27.3 versus 14.1 percent), instrumental activities of daily living (64.8 versus 47.3 percent), and walking one block (62.5 versus 48.2 percent). After adjustments for age, sex, education, cancer type, cancer stage, and comorbidity, these associations persisted.

"The increased prevalence of frailty in older Black participants may at least partially mediate known differences in cancer outcomes and warrant further investigation," the authors write. "In addition, further research delineating the mechanisms of increased frailty in this population is necessary to inform intervention development."

Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical, health technology, and health care industries.

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