Objective: To examine racial differences in physical performance among older women with newly diagnosed non-metastatic breast cancer and identify clinical, behavioral and biological factors that might contribute to such disparities. Methods: This is a cross-sectional study of women aged ≥65 years with newly diagnosed stage I–III breast cancer recruited from ambulatory oncology clinics at an academic center, between September 2010 and August 2015. Participants completed a Comprehensive Geriatric Assessment and laboratory testing for biomarkers of inflammation [interleukin-6 (IL6)] prior to receiving systemic treatment for cancer. The primary outcome was poor physical performance, defined as scoring ≤7 on the Short Physical Performance Battery, Yes or No. Logistic regression analyses were undertaken. Results: Among 135 women with mean age of 74.8 years (SD = 6.9), 31% were African-American (AA), and 33% had poor physical performance. Controlling for age, education, comorbidities and geriatric syndromes, participants with poor physical performance were more likely to be AA [versus (vs.) Non-Hispanic Whites (NHW)], odds ratio (OR) = 3.10, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.18–8.15. Controlling further for physical activity (PA) attenuated the racial disparity in physical performance (OR = 2.50, CI = 0.91–6.84). Lastly, controlling for IL6 further diminished the racial disparity in physical performance (OR = 1.93, CI = 0.67–5.56). In adjusted models, PA and IL6 explained 29% and 38%, respectively, of the racial disparity in poor physical performance. Conclusion: Among older women with newly diagnosed non-metastatic breast cancer, poor physical performance was prevalent and AA were disproportionately affected. Less engagement in physical activity and subclinical inflammation partly contributed to this disparity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geriatrics and Gerontology