Background: Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States. Lifestyle choices such as substance abuse can impact a survivor’s health and overall quality of life. Methods: We used longitudinal data from the Wave 1-3 Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health data to examine sociodemographic characteristics and substance use behaviors (current cigarette, e-cigarette, alcohol, and marijuana use) by cancer diagnosis status. A generalized estimating equation model was used to examine the population-averaged effects of sociodemographic factors on substance use. Results: Among 1527 participants diagnosed with cancer, 14.5% used cigarettes, 3.8% used e-cigarettes, 49.1% used alcohol, and 4.2% used marijuana in the prior 30 days in Wave 1. While the prevalence of cigarette use among those with no cancer history decreased significantly between Wave 1 (21.9%) and Wave 3 (20.2%), it increased significantly among participants diagnosed with cancer from 14.5% to 16.0%. E-cigarette use decreased for both groups, whereas alcohol and marijuana use increased. Results showed that substance use among people diagnosed with cancer significantly varied by sociodemographic characteristics. Age, sex, race-ethnicity, education, income, and region of residence were significantly associated with substance use among patients diagnosed with cancer. Conclusion: Overall, substance use is lower among participants diagnosed with cancer than those with no cancer history. Substance use varies by sociodemographic characteristics among people diagnosed with cancer. More focus on substance use prevention among patients diagnosed with cancer could be beneficial in terms of improving the overall well-being of this population.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Psychiatry and Mental health