(HealthDay News) — Among African-American cancer survivors, experiencing discrimination is associated with frailty, according to a study published in Cancer.

Researchers conducted a population-based study of 2232 African-American cancer survivors who were 20 to 79 years of age at diagnosis. The patients were enrolled within 5 years of diagnosis between 2017 and 2022. Patients had breast (n=787), colorectal (n=227), lung (n=223), and prostate (n=995) cancers.

Aging-related disease and function were measured with a deficit accumulation index (score range, 0-1), and survivors were classified as robust (<0.20), prefrail (0.20 to <0.35), or frail (≥0.35). A discrimination scale was used to assess whether participants had ever experienced major discrimination, with 7 type of events assessed. The association between discrimination and deficit accumulation was examined.

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Overall, 63.2% of survivors reported ever experiencing major discrimination, with an average of 2.4 discrimination events. Nearly a quarter of survivors (24.4%) were classified as robust, 42.7% were prefrail, and 32.9% were frail.

Survivors with 4 to 7 types of discrimination events had a large, clinically meaningful increase in adjusted deficits, compared with survivors who had 0 to 1 discrimination events (0.062, P <.001). A consistent pattern was seen across cancer types.

“Future studies are needed to understand the intersectionality between aging, discrimination, and cancer survivorship among diverse populations,” the study authors wrote.

One author disclosed financial ties to Ryne Bio.

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