Table 1.

Demographic, lifestyle, and medical characteristics potentially related to lymphedema; percent of persons within levels of each factor; and unadjusted associations of potential risk factors with lymphedema

ALL eligible women
Age (y)
    White + others40964.866.324.09.80.001
Education level
    <High school11518.260.023.516.50.005
    High school graduate23136.658.029.412.6
    High school + some college14022.260.722.916.4
    College graduate629.864.525.89.7
Marital status
    Divorced or separated10416.553.826.919.2
    Unmarried couple162.556.318.825.0
    Never married8413.367.919.013.1
Type of hospital
    Cancer center11518.266.123.510.40.42
Modified Charlson index
        Osteoarthritis only9038.363.328.97.8
        Unknown type12051.
Smoking status
    Never smoked28745.562.023.314.60.45
    Current smoker15023.860.724.714.7
Drinking status
    <1 drink/wk12019.
    1 to <7 drinks/wk11618.461.227.611.2
    7+ drinks/wk599.466.125.48.5
Health coverage
    Private insurance only33853.662.424.013.60.005
    Some Medicare20933.167.523.49.1
    Medicaid/public assistance/none467.339.139.121.7
Difficulty getting care
    Somewhat/not very13521.456.326.717.0
    Not at all47074.564.724.011.3
Household income
Stage at diagnosis§
    In situ8413.882.114.33.6<0.001
    Stage I18230.061.530.28.2
    Stage IIa10216.847.132.320.6
    Stage IIb457.448.922.228.9
    Stage III/IV284.657.125.017.9
  • *Tests of significance of association between lymphedema (none, mild, moderate/severe) and levels of exposures are based on Mantel-Haenszel χ2 tests for categorical or ordinal variables as appropriate.

  • American Association of Medical Colleges (68).

  • Modified Charlson index (69). Sum of scores, as assigned: Assign 1—myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, peripheral vascular disease, stroke (no paralysis), chronic pulmonary disease, ulcer, mild liver disease, and diabetes; Assign 2—hemiplegia, moderate or severe renal disease, diabetes with end organ damage, and any cancer other than breast cancer.

  • §AJCC stage (35). Complete AJCC staging information was not available for 166 patients because we lacked information on one or more components of stage. There were another 24 patients, who lacked information to distinguish between stage I or IIa. Except for descriptive analyses in Tables 1 and 2 that are stratified by stage, all study subjects were included in the analyses. Among the 441 women with known AJCC stage in our study, the distribution of in situ (19%) and invasive (81%) cancers was the same as reported by the Pennsylvania Cancer Registry for the counties (Delaware and Philadelphia) and years (1999-2001) covered by our study (70).