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The long-term financial consequences of breast cancer: a Danish registry-based cohort study

Jensen, Laura Schärfe ; Overgaard, Charlotte ; Bøggild, Henrik ; Garne, Jens Peter ; Lund, Thomas ; Overvad, Kim ; Fonager, Kirsten

BMC Public Health, 2017, Vol.17 [Peer Reviewed Journal]

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  • Title:
    The long-term financial consequences of breast cancer: a Danish registry-based cohort study
  • Author/Creator: Jensen, Laura Schärfe ; Overgaard, Charlotte ; Bøggild, Henrik ; Garne, Jens Peter ; Lund, Thomas ; Overvad, Kim ; Fonager, Kirsten
  • Subjects: Research Article
  • Is Part Of: BMC Public Health, 2017, Vol.17
  • Description: Background A breast cancer diagnosis affects an individual’s affiliation to labour market, but the long-term consequences of breast cancer on income in a Danish setting have not been examined. The present study investigated whether breast cancer affected future income among Danish women that participated in the work force. We also examined the roles of sociodemographic factors and prior psychiatric medical treatment. Methods This registry-based cohort study was based on information retrieved from linked Danish nationwide registries. We compared the incomes of 13,101 women (aged 30–59 years) diagnosed with breast cancer (exposed) to those of 60,819 women without breast cancer (unexposed). Changes in income were examined during a 10-year follow-up; for each follow-up year, we calculated the mean annual income and the relative change compared to the income earned one year prior to diagnosis. Expected changes in Danish female income, according to calendar year and age, were estimated based on information from Statistics Denmark. For exposed and unexposed groups, the observed income changes were dichotomized to those above and those below the expected change in income in the Danish female population. We examined the impact of breast cancer on income each year of follow-up with logistic regression models. Analyses were stratified according to educational level, marital status, and prior psychiatric medical treatment. Results Breast cancer had a temporary negative effect on income. The effect was largest during the first three years after diagnosis; thereafter, the gap narrowed between exposed and unexposed cohorts. The odds ratio for an increase in income in the cancer cohort compared to the cancer-free cohort was 0.81 (95% CI 0.77–0.84) after three years. After seven years, no significant difference was observed between cohorts. Stratified analyses demonstrated that the negative effect of breast cancer on income lasted longest among women with high educational levels. Being single or having received psychiatric medical treatment increased the chance to experience an increase in income among women with breast cancer. Conclusion A breast cancer diagnosis led to negative effects on income, which ameliorated over the following seven years. Sociodemographic factors and prior psychiatric medical treatment might influence long-term consequences of breast cancer on income.
  • Identifier: E-ISSN: 1471-2458 ; DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4839-x ; PMCID: 5661907 ; PMID: 29084512