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Under the auspices of an International Working Group, seven centers submitted diagnostic and follow-up information on 1545 patients with World Health Organization-defined polycythemia vera (PV). At diagnosis, median age was 61 years (51% females); thrombocytosis and venous thrombosis were more frequent in women and arterial thrombosis and abnormal karyotype in men. Considering patients from the center with the most mature follow-up information (n=337 with 44% of patients followed to death), median survival (14.1 years) was significantly worse than that of the age- and sex-matched US population (P<0.001). In multivariable analysis, survival for the entire study cohort (n=1545) was adversely affected by older age, leukocytosis, venous thrombosis and abnormal karyotype; a prognostic model that included the first three parameters delineated risk groups with median survivals of 10.9 to 27.8 years (HR 10.7; 95% CI 7.7-15.0). Pruritus was identified as a favorable risk factor for survival. Cumulative hazard of leukemic transformation, with death as a competing risk, was 2.3% at 10 years and 5.5% at 15 years; risk factors included older age, abnormal karyotype and leukocytes ≥15 × 10(9)/l. Leukemic transformation was associated with treatment exposure to pipobroman or P32/chlorambucil. We found no association between leukemic transformation and hydroxyurea or busulfan use.Leukemia accepted article preview online, 6 June 2013; doi:10.1038/leu.2013.163.
Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA.
This article was published in the following journal.
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Continuance of life or existence especially under adverse conditions; includes methods and philosophy of survival.
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A class of statistical procedures for estimating the survival function (function of time, starting with a population 100% well at a given time and providing the percentage of the population still well at later times). The survival analysis is then used for making inferences about the effects of treatments, prognostic factors, exposures, and other covariates on the function.
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