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Table 6 Differences in DISTRESS ratings between younger (< 60, n = 263) and older (≥ 60, n = 330) patients

From: Differences in the symptom experience of older versus younger oncology outpatients: a cross-sectional study

Symptom Sample size Age group Mean score Distress ratings† (%) Unadjusted values Adjusted values
Older age Older age
0 1 2 3 4 OR CI p-value OR CI p-value
Difficulty concentrating 147 <60 1.52 17.7 38.1 22.4 18.4 3.4 .71 .45-1.10 .124 .82 .50-1.34 .424
116 ≥60 1.33 25.0 37.9 21.6 10.3 5.2
Pain 192 <60 2.01 6.3 32.3 29.2 19.3 13.0 .63 .43-.90 .012 .65 .43-.98 .041
183 ≥60 1.69 15.8 32.2 26.2 18.0 7.7
Lack of energy 212 <60 2.04 8.5 26.4 30.2 22.6 12.3 .54 .39-.77 <.001 .57 .39-.83 .004
220 ≥60 1.64 20.5 30.5 22.3 18.6 8.2
Cough 103 <60 1.39 29.1 28.2 24.3 11.7 6.8 .60 .37-.97 .037 .52 .29-.91 .022
112 ≥60 1.07 42.9 25.0 19.6 7.1 5.4
Feeling nervous 102 <60 1.70 10.8 38.2 26.5 19.6 4.9 .51 .30-.87 .013 .57 .30-1.06 .075
85 ≥60 1.33 23.5 40.0 22.4 8.2 5.9
Dry mouth 111 <60 1.45 22.5 37.8 20.7 9.9 9.0 .50 .32-.80 .003 .47 .29-.76 .002
133 ≥60 1.05 42.1 29.3 15.8 7.5 5.3
Nausea 99 <60 1.84 12.1 32.3 29.3 12.1 14.1 .47 .27-.80 .006 .46 .25-.86 .015
81 ≥60 1.37 33.3 29.6 13.6 13.6 9.9
Feeling drowsy 165 <60 1.39 21.2 39.4 23.0 12.1 4.2 .53 .36-.79 .002 .52 .34-.80 .003
167 ≥60 1.07 40.1 31.7 13.8 9.6 4.8
Numbness/tingling in hands/feet 94 <60 1.40 21.3 39.4 20.2 16.0 3.2 .72 .43-1.21 .212 .84 .46-1.56 .586
91 ≥60 1.25 33.0 33.0 16.5 11.0 6.6
Difficulty sleeping 166 <60 2.01 9.6 29.5 25.9 19.9 15.1 .61 .41-.92 .017 .54 .35-.86 .008
142 ≥60 1.66 19.0 27.5 29.6 16.2 7.7
Feeling bloated 81 <60 1.85 16.0 24.7 27.2 22.2 9.9 .43 .23-.81 .008 .38 .18-.80 .011
56 ≥60 1.30 19.6 42.9 26.8 8.9 1.8
Problems with urination 54 <60 1.57 24.1 25.9 25.9 16.7 7.4 1.21 .67-2.19 .530 .91 .47-1.76 .783
108 ≥60 1.70 14.8 32.4 31.5 10.2 11.1
Vomiting 43 <60 1.63 23.3 32.6 16.3 14.0 14.0 .78 .34-1.79 .553 .58 .21-1.62 .298
30 ≥60 1.43 33.3 20.0 26.7 10.0 10.0
Shortness of breath 97 <60 1.63 14.4 41.2 21.6 12.4 10.3 .79 .48-1.30 .347 .80 .46-1.39 .427
100 ≥60 1.47 28.0 26.0 24.0 15.0 7.0
Diarrhea 54 <60 1.59 18.5 38.9 14.8 20.4 7.4 .69 .36-1.34 .274 .61 .28-1.31 .204
63 ≥60 1.32 25.4 33.3 30.2 6.3 4.8
Feeling sad 137 <60 1.87 8.0 36.5 27.0 17.5 10.9 .47 .29-.77 .003 .49 .28-.85 .011
94 ≥60 1.41 14.9 46.8 24.5 9.6 4.3
Sweats 117 <60 1.75 17.1 29.1 28.2 12.8 12.8 .49 .30-.80 .005 .56 .32-.98 .040
95 ≥60 1.26 24.2 40.0 24.2 8.4 3.2
Worrying 151 <60 1.93 7.3 34.4 28.5 17.9 11.9 .45 .28-.72 .001 .57 .34-.96 .033
101 ≥60 1.46 8.9 53.5 23.8 10.9 3.0
Problems with sexual interest 91 <60 2.08 22.0 19.8 15.4 14.3 28.6 .96 .55-1.66 .875 .89 .46-1.73 .731
69 ≥60 2.03 18.8 20.3 24.6 11.6 24.6
Itching 88 <60 1.56 15.9 40.9 25.0 8.0 10.2 .82 .46-1.45 .497 1.04 .55-1.95 .908
69 ≥60 1.42 24.6 31.9 27.5 8.7 7.2
Lack of appetite 99 <60 1.38 27.3 31.3 24.2 10.1 7.1 .85 .51-1.41 .529 .85 .48-1.51 .589
96 ≥60 1.28 32.3 29.2 21.9 11.5 5.2
Dizziness 69 <60 1.32 23.2 37.7 26.1 10.1 2.9 .84 .45-1.56 .572 .62 .30-1.29 .202
63 ≥60 1.25 23.8 46.0 15.9 9.5 4.8
Difficulty swallowing 40 <60 1.65 10.0 40.0 30.0 15.0 5.0 .96 .44-2.09 .924 .85 .35-2.06 .724
43 ≥60 1.63 20.9 27.9 23.3 23.3 4.7
Feeling irritable 135 <60 1.49 21.5 34.8 24.4 11.9 7.4 .79 .49-1.27 .335 .82 .48-1.42 .485
96 ≥60 1.31 18.8 47.9 17.7 14.6 1.0
Mouth sores 36 <60 1.67 22.2 30.6 19.4 13.9 13.9 .46 .20-1.09 .079 .41 .16-1.03 .058
35 ≥60 1.11 31.4 42.9 11.4 11.4 2.9
Change in way food tastes 78 <60 1.69 17.9 32.1 25.6 11.5 12.8 .47 .27-.81 .007 .57 .31-1.05 .072
89 ≥60 1.18 32.6 36.0 14.6 14.6 2.2
Weight loss 61 <60 1.05 45.9 26.2 13.1 6.6 8.2 .67 .35-1.29 .232 .51 .24-1.09 .082
68 ≥60 0.78 54.4 26.5 8.8 7.4 2.9
Hair loss 61 <60 1.74 19.7 29.5 21.3 16.4 13.1 .50 .26-.97 .041 .48 .23-.99 .048
55 ≥60 1.29 43.6 20.0 9.1 18.2 9.1
Constipation 87 <60 2.09 13.8 23.0 25.3 16.1 21.8 .68 .41-1.14 .145 .74 .42-1.29 .285
95 ≥60 1.80 23.2 25.3 15.8 20.0 15.8
Swelling of arms or legs 42 <60 1.64 28.6 23.8 19.0 11.9 16.7 .96 .46-2.01 .913 1.11 .46-2.67 .819
48 ≥60 1.58 27.1 25.0 18.8 20.8 8.3
I don’t look like myself 91 <60 1.89 11.0 36.3 19.8 18.7 14.3 .32 .17-.58 <.001 .30 .15-.58 <.001
64 ≥60 1.14 34.4 34.4 17.2 10.9 3.1
Changes in skin 99 <60 1.76 11.1 36.4 29.3 12.1 11.1 .41 .23-.76 .004 .51 .27-.98 .043
62 ≥60 1.26 38.7 24.2 17.7 11.3 8.1
  1. Abbreviations: CI, confidence interval; OR, odds ratio.
  2. †Distress ratings = not at all (0), a little bit (1), somewhat (2), quite a bit (4), very much (5).