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01.03.2018 | Short Communication | Ausgabe 3/2018

Medical Oncology 3/2018

The impact of anaemia, transfusion dependency, comorbidities and polypharmacy in elderly patients with low-risk myelodysplastic syndromes

Medical Oncology > Ausgabe 3/2018
Roberto Castelli, Riccardo Schiavon, Giorgio Lambertenghi Deliliers


Myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are heterogeneous clonal disorders ranging from indolent conditions with a near-normal life expectancy to forms approaching acute myeloid leukaemia. Comorbid conditions have rarely been systematically studied among patients with MDS. Older age per se has a negative impact on survival of MDS patients, in particular of those with lower risk. However, age indirectly affects also the survival of higher-risk patients by limiting their eligibility to intensive treatments. In addition, ageing is associated with an increasingly high risk of developing comorbidity, and a high prevalence of comorbid diseases has indeed been reported in MDS patients. The impact of multi-morbidities/comorbidities and polypharmacy in patients with low-risk MDS patients is a poorly explored topic. We focused on medications, multi-morbidities and comorbidities of 155 low-risk MDS patients followed in the haematological outpatients clinics or in medical/oncology wards of our University Hospital. One or more comorbidities were present at diagnosis in 24 younger patients with MDS syndromes (31%), whereas 56 older patients with MDS (75%) presented 1 or more comorbidities (P < 0.001).The most frequent comorbidity was cardiac comorbidity 18% in younger patients and 25% in older patients. With no statistical significance between older and younger patients, congestive heart failure was the most frequent observed disease. Our study has shown a statistical correlation between transfusion dependency and polypathology (P = 0.0014). These data were also confirmed in a subanalysis of the younger group of patients. Our study has shown that comorbidity is very common among patients with MDS, potentially affecting the clinical course and outcome of MDS patients.

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