Chronic graft-versus host disease (GVHD) is a chronic and disabling complication after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). It is important to understand the association of socioeconomic status (SES) with health outcomes in patients with chronic GVHD because of the impaired physical health and dependence on intensive and prolonged health care utilization needs in these patients. We evaluated the association of SES with survival and quality of life (QOL) in a cohort of 421 patients with chronic GVHD enrolled on the Chronic GVHD Consortium Improving Outcomes Assessment study. Income, education, marital status, and work status were analyzed to determine the associations with patient-reported outcomes at the time of enrollment, nonrelapse mortality (NRM), and overall mortality. Higher income (P =.004), ability to work (P <.001), and having a partner (P =.021) were associated with better mean Lee chronic GVHD symptom scores. Higher income (P =.048), educational level (P =.044), and ability to work (P <.001) also were significantly associated with better QOL and improved activity. In multivariable models, higher income and ability to return to work were both significantly associated with better chronic GVHD Lee symptom scores, but income was not associated with activity level, QOL, or physical/mental functioning. The inability to return to work (hazard ratio, 1.82; P =.019) was associated with worse overall mortality, whereas none of the SES indicators were associated with NRM. Income, race, and education did not have statistically significant associations with survival. In summary, we did not observe an association between SES variables and survival or NRM in patients with chronic GVHD, although we found some association with patient-reported outcomes, such as symptom burden. Higher income status was associated with less severe chronic GVHD symptoms. More research is needed to understand the psychosocial, biological, and environmental factors that mediate this association of SES with major HCT outcomes.
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Financial disclosure: This work was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health , National Cancer Institute ( CA118953 ). The Chronic GVHD Consortium (Grant U54 CA163438 ) is a part of the National Institutes of Health Rare Disease Clinical Research Network, supported through collaboration between the Office of Rare Diseases Research, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the National Cancer Institute, and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
- Chronic GVHD
- Hematopoietic cell transplantation
- Patient-reported outcomes
- Socioeconomic status