Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy in African American cancer survivors: Risk factors and quality of life outcomes


BACKGROUND: Epidemiological studies of chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN) have predominantly focused on non-Hispanic White patients, despite the observation that African Americans are more likely to experience CIPN. To address this health disparities gap, we sought to identify non-genetic risk factors and comorbidities associated with CIPN in African American cancer survivors using the Detroit Research on Cancer Survivors study.

METHODS: Logistic regression was used to evaluate relationships between presence of self-reported CIPN and relevant clinical characteristics in 1045 chemotherapy-treated African American cancer survivors. Linear regression was used to evaluate risk factors for CIPN and quality of life outcomes that reflect physical, social, emotional, and functional domains of health.

RESULTS: Patients with CIPN were more likely to report hypertension (OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 0.98-1.67, p = 0.07), hypercholesterolemia (OR = 1.32, 95% CI: 1.001-1.73, p = 0.05), history of depression (OR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.18-2.25, p = 0.003), and diabetes (OR = 1.33, 95% CI: 0.98-1.82, p = 0.06) after adjustment for age at diagnosis, sex, and cancer site. BMI (OR = 1.02 kg/m2 , 95% CI: 1.006-1.04 kg/m2 , p = 0.008) was also positively associated with CIPN. In addition, CIPN status was significantly associated with quality of life (FACT-G total: β = -8.60, 95% CI: -10.88, -6.32) p < 0.0001) and mood (PROMIS® Anxiety: β = 4.18, 95% CI: 2.92-5.45, p < 0.0001; PROMIS® Depression: β = 2.69, 95% CI: 1.53-3.84, p < 0.0001) after adjustment for age at diagnosis, sex, cancer site, and comorbidities. Neither alcohol consumption (OR = 0.88, 95% CI: 0.68-1.14, p = 0.32) nor tobacco use (ever smoked: OR = 1.04, 95% CI: 0.80-1.35, p = 0.76; currently smoke: OR = 1.28, 95% CI: 0.90-1.82, p = 0.18) was associated with increased CIPN risk.

CONCLUSION: Risk factor profiles in African Americans are not entirely consistent with those previously reported for non-Hispanic White patients. Neglecting to understand the correlates of common chemotherapy-induced toxicities for this patient population may further contribute to the health disparities these individuals face in receiving adequate healthcare.