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Psychooncology. 2013 Jan;22(1):83-8. doi: 10.1002/pon.2058. Epub 2011 Sep 15.

Prognostic impact of marital status on survival of women with epithelial ovarian cancer.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA, USA.



The objective of this study is to examine the impact of marital status on survival of patients with epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC).


Patients with a diagnosis of EOC were identified from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results Program for the period 1988-2006 and divided into married and unmarried groups. Statistical analysis using Student's t-test, Kaplan-Meier, and Cox regression proportional hazards was performed.


In 49,777 patients with EOC, 51.2% were married and 48.8% were unmarried. White women were likely to be married compared with African Americans (52.0% vs 32.4%, p < 0.05). Younger age (63.9% vs 43.4%, p < 0.001) and early stage disease (37.5% vs 33.8%, p < 0.001) were more prominent in married patients compared with unmarried patients. Staging lymphadenectomy was performed more frequently in married than unmarried patients (39.9% vs 29.8%, p < 0.001). Overall 5-year survival was 45.0% for married patients and 33.1% for unmarried patients, p < 0.001. Married patients had a better survival compared with unmarried patients within each racial subgroup: 44.5% vs 33.3% for White women (p < 0.001), 36.9% vs 24.9% for African Americans (p < 0.001), and 53.7% vs 42.7% for others (p < 0.001), respectively. In a model that controlled for age, race, histology, stage, grade, and surgical treatment, married patients had a significantly improved survival compared with unmarried patients (HR 0.8, 95% CI 0.78-0.83, p < 0.001).


In this epidemiologic study, the social institution of marriage is associated with improved survival in women with ovarian cancer.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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