Disruption of the rest–activity rhythm in patients with lung cancer can accelerate cancer progression and affect survival. Rest–activity rhythm changes with age. Therefore, we investigated the effects of rest–activity rhythm and age on patients’ survival. A total of 84 patients with lung cancer were recruited, then separated into two groups; younger patients aged under 65 years or elderly patients aged 65 and over. The dichotomy index (I < O) was used to estimate the rest–activity rhythm measured through the actigraphy motion detector. Cox proportional hazards models were adopted to investigate the effects of different variables on the patients’ survival. After adjusting for confounding, the risk of earlier mortality in the younger patients with disrupted I < O were 2.52 (95%CI = 1.09–5.82) times higher than that in the younger patients with robust I < O (p = 0.03), the risk of earlier mortality in the elderly patients with disrupted I < O was 4.08 (95%CI = 1.91–8.68) times higher than that in the elderly patients with robust I < O (p < 0.001). Therefore, age and I < O influence the survival period of patients with lung cancer. Moreover, disrupted I < O has a substantial influence on elderly patients. In conclusion, aging and disrupted rest–activity rhythm negatively and jointly influenced the survival period of the patients with lung cancer and significantly increased their death risk.
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