(HealthDay News) — For older women with early-stage breast cancer, measures of health-related quality of life (HRQOL) predict 10-year mortality independently of traditional breast cancer prognostic variables, according to a study published online March 13 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Clark DuMontier, M.D., from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues used medical variables (age, comorbidity), HRQOL measures (10-item Physical Function Index and 5-item Mental Health Index from the Medical Outcomes Study [MOS] 36-item Short-Form Survey and the 8-item Modified MOS Social Support Survey), and breast cancer variables (stage, surgery, chemotherapy, endocrine therapy) to develop a 10-year mortality risk score.

The researchers found that, compared to a model that included only age, comorbidity, and cancer stage and treatment variables, adding HRQOL variables improved discrimination (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, 0.742 from 0.715) and overall performance with good calibration (P = 0.96 from Hosmer-Lemeshow test).

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“These findings suggest that interventions aimed at improving physical function, mental health, and social support might improve both HRQOL and survival,” the authors write.

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