A beneficial effect of being married on survival has been shown for several cancer types, but is unclear for oesophageal cancer. The objective of this study was to clarify the potential influence of the marital status on the overall and disease-specific survival after curatively intended treatment of oesophageal cancer using a nationwide population-based design, taking into account the known major prognostic variables.
Prospective, population-based cohort.
All Swedish hospitals performing surgery for oesophageal cancer during 2001–2005.
This study included 90% of all patients with oesophageal or junctional cancer who underwent surgical resection in Sweden in 2001–2005, with follow-up until death or the end of the study period (2012).
Primary and secondary outcome measures
Cox regression was used to estimate associations between the marital status and the 5-year overall and disease-specific mortality, expressed as HRs with 95% CIs, with adjustment for sex, age, tumour stage, histological type, complications, comorbidities and annual surgeon volume.
Of all 606 included patients (80.4% men), 55.1% were married, 9.2% were remarried, 22.6% were previously married and 13% were never married. Compared with the married patients, the never married (HR 1.02, 95% CI 0.77 to 1.35), previously married (HR 0.90, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.15) and remarried patients (HR 0.79, 95% CI 0.55 to 1.13) had no increased overall 5-year mortality. The corresponding HRs for disease-specific survival, and after excluding the initial 90 days of surgery, were similar to the HRs for the overall survival.
This study showed no evidence of a better 5-year survival in married patients compared with non-married patients undergoing surgery for oesophageal cancer.