Modifiable health-related factors (Smoking, physical activity and body mass index) and health care use and costs among adult cancer survivors

Sapna Kaul, Jaqueline C. Avila, Daniel Jupiter, Ana M. Rodriguez, Anne C. Kirchhoff, Yong Fang Kuo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective To examine the associations between modifiable health-related factors, such as smoking, low physical activity and higher body mass index (BMI), and annual health care visits and expenditures among adult cancer survivors in the United States. Methods Using data from the 2010–2014 Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, we identified 4920 cancer survivors (aged 18–64 years) and a matched comparison group. Our outcomes were number of annual health care visits [i.e., outpatient/office-based, hospital discharges and emergency department (ED) visits] and total health care expenditures. We examined health-related factors, demographics, insurance and health status (i.e., comorbidity and mental dis-tress). Bivariate and multivariable analyses examined the associations between outcomes and health-related factors. Results Of survivors, approximately 21% were current smokers, 52% reported low physical activity and 35% were obese, vs. 19.6, 49.5 and 36.7%, respectively, of the comparison group. These factors were associated with greater comorbidity and mental distress in both groups. Current smokers among survivors were less likely to have outpatient visits [marginal effect on the number of visits (ME) = −3.44, 95% confidence interval (CI) −5.02 to −1.86, P < 0.001] but more likely to have ED visits (ME = 0.11, 95% CI 0.05–0.18, P = 0.001) than nonsmokers. Physically active individuals in both groups had fewer ED visits, and lower total expenditures than those who reported low physical activity. Conclusion Regular assessments of health-related factors should be incorporated in survivorship care to reduce the burden of cancer. Modification of survivors’ health-related factors (e.g., low physical activity) may help improve their health outcomes and reduce financial burden.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2469-2480
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Aug 22 2017


  • Adult cancer survivors
  • Body mass index
  • Health care burden
  • Physical activity
  • Smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Modifiable health-related factors (Smoking, physical activity and body mass index) and health care use and costs among adult cancer survivors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this