Unemployment risk at 2 and 4 years following colorectal cancer diagnosis: a population based study

Yakir Rottenberg, Navah Z. Ratzon, Miri Cohen, Ayala Hubert, Beatrice Uziely, Angela G.E.M. de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background About half of colorectal patients are diagnosed less than 65 years of age and they have a relatively high cure rate. However, little is known about their employment and related risk factors. The aim of the current study was to clarify the association between colorectal cancer (CRC) and subsequent risk of being unemployed. Methods A historical prospective cohort study included baseline socio-demographic measurements of age, sex, ethnicity, residential socio-economic position and education from the 1995 Israeli National Census, cancer incidence between 2000 and 2007 and employment data between 1998 and 2011. Binary logistic regression analyses were used to assess odds ratios for unemployment, while controlling for socio-economic measurements and employment status at 2 years prior to diagnosis. Results The final study population included 885 colorectal patients and 2646 healthy controls. After controlling for confounders, positive associations were found between stages II (odds ratio [OR] = 1.91, 95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.31–2.76 or III (OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.13–2.54) and increased risk for unemployment at 2 years. At 4 years follow-up, stages I (OR = 1.56, 95% CI: 1.11–2.19), II (OR = 1.57, 95% CI: 1.09–2.26) and III (OR = 2.28, 95% CI: 1.55–3.37) were associated with increased risk for unemployment. Higher risk was seen among rectal cancer patients and among patients aged ≤50 years old at the time of cancer diagnosis. Conclusions CRC patients are at increased long-term risk for unemployment, especially among rectal cancer and younger patients. The clinical ramifications of our findings emphasise the importance of an accurate evaluation and attention to unemployment status during the care of these patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-76
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Cancer
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd


  • Cancer survivors
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Employment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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