(HealthDay News) — Greater financial worry and food insecurity are reported for younger adult cancer survivors, according to a study published online in the March issue of the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network.

Zhiyuan Zheng, Ph.D., from the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues used data from the National Health Interview Survey (2013 to 2017) to compare by age the financial worry and food insecurity for cancer survivors and individuals without a cancer history.

The researchers found that cancer survivors aged 18 to 39 years reported consistently higher “very worried” levels regarding retirement, standard of living, monthly bills, and housing costs compared with individuals without a cancer history; in addition, they had higher “often true” levels relating to worry about food running out, food not lasting, and being unable to afford balanced meals. For cancer survivors aged 40 to 64 years, the findings were not as consistent. For adults aged ≥65 years with/without a cancer history, the results were generally similar. Severe/moderate financial worry intensity was reported by 57.6, 51.9, and 23.8 percent of cancer survivors aged 18 to 39, 40 to 64, and ≥65 years, respectively. For the same age groups, severe/moderate food insecurity intensity was reported by 27.0, 14.8, and 6.3 percent, respectively.

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“This could be because younger cancer survivors are not able to maintain their jobs due to health conditions, and therefore lose their health insurance coverage,” Zheng said in a statement.

Two authors disclosed financial ties to AstraZeneca.

Abstract/Full Text