Open Access iconOpen Access



Survival and comorbidities in lung cancer patients: Evidence from administrative claims data in Germany


1 Division of Health Economics, German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, Germany
2 Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University, Mannheim, Germany

* Corresponding Author: Diego Hernandez, email

Oncology Research 2022, 30(4), 173-185.


Lung cancer is the most common cancer type worldwide and has the highest and second highest mortality rate for men and women respectively in Germany. Yet, the role of comorbid illnesses in lung cancer patient prognosis is still debated. We analyzed administrative claims data from one of the largest statutory health insurance (SHI) funds in Germany, covering close to 9 million people (11% of the national population); observation period was from 2005 to 2019. Lung cancer patients and their concomitant diseases were identified by ICD-10-GM codes. Comorbidities were classified according to the Charlson Comorbidity Index (CCI). Incidence, comorbidity prevalence and survival are estimated considering sex, age at diagnosis, and place of residence. Kaplan Meier curves with 95% confidence intervals were built in relation to common comorbidities. We identified 70,698 lung cancer incident cases in the sample. Incidence and survival figures are comparable to official statistics in Germany. Most prevalent comorbidities are chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) (36.7%), followed by peripheral vascular disease (PVD) (18.7%), diabetes without chronic complications (17.4%), congestive heart failure (CHF) (16.5%) and renal disease (14.7%). Relative to overall survival, lung cancer patients with CHF, cerebrovascular disease (CEVD) and renal disease are associated with largest drops in survival probabilities (9% or higher), while those with PVD and diabetes without chronic complications with moderate drops (7% or lower). The study showed a negative association between survival and most common comorbidities among lung cancer patients, based on a large sample for Germany. Further research needs to explore the individual effect of comorbidities disentangled from that of other patient characteristics such as cancer stage and histology.


Cite This Article

HERNANDEZ, D., CHENG, C., HERNANDEZ-VILLAFUERTE, K., SCHLANDER, M. (2022). Survival and comorbidities in lung cancer patients: Evidence from administrative claims data in Germany. Oncology Research, 30(4), 173–185.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
  • 1237


  • 490


  • 0


Share Link