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19-01-2021 | Uitgave 6/2021

Quality of Life Research 6/2021

Subjective life expectancy and associated factors among cancer survivors over 45 years old: evidence from the CHARLS

Quality of Life Research > Uitgave 6/2021
Zhishui Chen, Dawei Zhu, Xingyu Hu, Guangying Gao
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Associations between subjective life expectancy (SLE) and a variety of factors are well documented, but the relationship regarding cancer is limited. The purpose of this study was to disclose this potential relationship and identify the covariates that might influence this relationship.


Data were extracted from the China Health and Retirement Longitudinal Study (CHARLS), and a sample of 448 cancer survivors and 43,795 individuals without cancer were analyzed. Multilevel mixed-effects logistic regression was performed to examine the SLE associated with cancer survivors and participants without cancer after controlling for demographic, socioeconomic, health-related, and psychosocial factors.


The findings revealed that cancer survivors had a 39% reduction in longer life expectancy compared to respondents without cancer. Disparities in SLE existed based on diverse individual characteristics. The rate of high SLE in urban citizens was 75% higher compared to that of rural residents, while the rate of high SLE in participants with disability fell by 55%. The rate of high SLE decreased by 22% and 35% in respondents with high blood pressure and diabetes, respectively. The proportion of respondents with high SLE was reduced by 70% when depression was present. Furthermore, the out-of-pocket expenditures of participants with and without cancer showed a significant difference, but discrepancies with respect to SLE among different cancer treatment options were not found.


The more challenging one’s socioeconomic status is and the unhealthier one’s physical and mental conditions are, the lower one’s prospect of subjective life expectancy is. Further work is warranted to confirm the causal association between subjective life expectancy and certain characteristics in cancer survivors.

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