Cause of death during prostate cancer survivorship: A contemporary, US population–based analysis

Adam B. Weiner*, Eric V. Li, Anuj S. Desai, David J. Press, Edward M. Schaeffer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: More than 3.6 million men in the United States harbor a diagnosis of prostate cancer (PCa). The authors sought to provide in-depth analyses of the causes of death for contemporary survivors. METHODS: The authors performed a population-based cohort study in the United States (2000-2016) to assess causes of death for men diagnosed with PCa stratified by demographics and tumor stage. Using general population data, they calculated standardized mortality ratios (SMRs) as observed-to-expected death ratios. RESULTS: In total, 752,092 men with PCa, including 200,302 who died (27%), were assessed. A total of 29,048 men with local/regional disease (17%) died of PCa, whereas more than 4-fold men died of other causes (n = 143,719 [83%]). SMRs for death from noncancer causes (0.77; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.77-0.78) suggested that these men were less likely than the general population to die of most other causes. The most common noncancer cause of death was cardiac-related (23%; SMR, 0.76; 95% CI, 0.75-0.77). Among men with distant PCa, 90% of deaths occurred within 5 years of diagnosis. Although deaths due to PCa composed the majority of deaths (74%), SMRs suggested that men with distant PCa were at heightened risk for death from most other noncancer causes (1.50; 95% CI, 1.46-1.54) and, in particular, for cardiac-related death (SMR, 1.48; 95% CI, 1.41-1.54) and suicide (SMR, 2.32; 95% CI, 1.78-2.96). Further analyses demonstrated that causes of death varied by patient demographics. CONCLUSIONS: Causes of death during PCa survivorship vary by patient and tumor characteristics. These data provide valuable information regarding health care prioritization during PCa survivorship. LAY SUMMARY: Men with early-stage prostate cancer are 4-fold more likely to die of other causes, whereas those with advanced prostate cancer are at increased risk for several causes not related to prostate cancer in comparison with the general population. These findings can help guide physicians taking care of men with a diagnosis of prostate cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2895-2904
Number of pages10
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 15 2021


  • Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) program
  • cause of death
  • epidemiology
  • prostatic neoplasms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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