BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study was to determine the ability of the Vulnerable Elders Survey (VES-13) to predict the composite outcome of functional decline and death within 12 months of breast cancer treatment among women 65 years old or older with newly diagnosed stage I to III breast cancer. METHODS: Two hundred and six participants were recruited from ambulatory oncology clinics at an academic center between April 2008 and April 2013. Participants competed the VES-13 at baseline just before neoadjuvant/adjuvant treatment. The primary outcome, functional decline/death, was defined as either a decrease of at least 1 point on the Activities of Daily Living scale and/or the Instrumental Activities of Daily Living scale or death between baseline and 12 months (yes or no). RESULTS: One hundred and eighty four participants (89%) completed 12 months of follow-up. Twenty-two percent functionally declined (n = 34) or died (n = 7). Univariately, with increasing VES-13 scores, the estimated risk of functional decline/death rose from 23% for participants with a VES-13 score of 3 to 76% for participants with a VES-13 score of 10. In multivariate logistic regression analysis, VES-13 scores (adjusted odds ratio, 1.37; 95% confidence interval, 1.18-1.57) and having a high school education or less (adjusted odds ratio, 2.47; 95% confidence interval, 1.08-5.65) were independent predictors of functional decline/death (area under the receiver operator curve, 0.79). CONCLUSIONS: Among older women with newly diagnosed nonmetastatic breast cancer, approximately 1 in 5 functionally declined and/or died within 12 months of breast cancer treatment initiation. Women with high school education or less were disproportionately affected. The VES-13 is a useful instrument for the early identification of those at risk for functional decline and/or death. Cancer 2016;122:2579–86.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research