Elderly multiple myeloma patients experience less deterioration in health-related quality of life than younger patients compared to a normative population: A study from the population-based PROFILES registry

M. W. M. van der Poel, S. Oerlemans, H. C. Schouten, L. V. van de Poll-Franse

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The objectives of this study were to compare health-related quality of life (HRQOL) between multiple myeloma (MM) patients aged ≤65 and >65 years and to compare this with a normative population. Factors associated with HRQOL were identified. The population-based Eindhoven Cancer Registry was used to select MM patients diagnosed from 1999 to 2010. Patients (n = 289) were invited to complete the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer Quality of Life Questionnaire Core 30 (EORTC QLQ-C30) and Quality of Life Questionnaire Multiple Myeloma Module 20 (QLQ-MY20), and 212 patients responded (73 %). Data from the normative population (n = 568) were used for comparison. MM patients >65 years scored better on emotional functioning (p < 0.05) and financial problems (p < 0.01) compared to patients ≤65 years. Patients ≤65 years reported better body image and future perspective (p < 0.01). Compared to the normative population, patients ≤65 years scored worse on all EORTC QLQ-C30 functioning scales and on global health/QOL, fatigue, pain, dyspnea, appetite loss, and financial problems (p < 0.01). Patients >65 years scored worse on social, physical, and role functioning and on global health/QOL, fatigue, pain, and dyspnea (p < 0.01). Younger patients had worse HRQOL compared to the normative population than elderly patients. Patients with comorbidities reported lower QOL. The longer the time since diagnosis, the better the physical functioning. No major differences in HRQOL were found between younger and older MM patients. Compared to that of the normative population, HRQOL in younger patients was worse than that in older patients. The number of comorbidities and time since diagnosis were associated with HRQOL. MM patients reported that a high symptom burden and therapy should, besides prolonging survival, be aimed at improving HRQOL. Keywords: Multiple myeloma, Quality of life, Elderly, Population based
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)651-661
JournalAnnals of Hematology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • Multiple myeloma
  • Quality of life
  • Elderly
  • Population based

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