Journal Article

Disparities in quality of life among European cancer survivors aged 50 and over

European Journal of Public Health, 22:Suppl. 2, ii642 (2023)
Open Access


Background: This study aims to investigate regional disparities of quality of life (QoL) among older cancer survivors across European countries.
Methods: This is a longitudinal study based on the Survey of Health, Ageing and Retirement in Europe (SHARE) project. European-level, regional and national QoL among cancer survivors were investigated using mixed-effect regression models based on demographic and health-related factors.
Findings: The prevalence of low QoL vary from 12.4 (Denmark) to 84.9 (Greece) for women and from 10.4 (Denmark) to 74.6 (Greece) for men. Cancer survivors had higher risks of low QoL (prevalence ratio (PR) = 1.59, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.47 - 1.71) than general population. Numbers of mobility limitations has the largest effects on QoL (NL mobility =1: PR = 1.54, 95% CI = 1.45 -1.64; NL mobility ≥ 2: PR = 2.59, 95% CI = 2.47 - 2.73), followed by several other factors (e.g., age, gender, BMI, civil status, employment status, education level and geographical region). Most of the effects kept stable or decreased slightly after subjects survived more than 5 years.
Conclusions: Significant disparities of QoL were observed across Europe. Cancer survivors face a substantially increased risk of decreased QoL comparing to general population. Several factors were identified as risk factors for lower QoL.
Key messages: • QoL in general population show significant disparities across Europe.
• Further steps should focus on improving QoL of cancer survivors simultaneously across European countries.

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.