Hospitalization rate greater for childhood cancer survivors

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Hospitalization Rate Up for Childhood Cancer Survivors
Hospitalization Rate Up for Childhood Cancer Survivors

(HealthDay News) -- Childhood cancer survivors have an elevated risk of hospitalization, according to a study published online June 12 in Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention.

Anne C. Kirchhoff, Ph.D., M.P.H., from the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City, and colleagues used data from population-based research resources to examine the risk of hospitalization due to cancer-related late effects among childhood cancer survivors. Data were collected from 1,499 childhood and adolescent cancer survivors who were discharged from 1973 to 2005 and a birth year- and sex-matched comparison cohort of 7,219 patients. Hospital admissions, length of stay, and diagnosis were compared for survivors starting five years from diagnosis and the comparison cohort.

The researchers found that the average follow-up was 13.5 years for survivors and 14.0 years for the comparison cohort. On average, survivors were hospitalized 1.62 times, compared with 0.79 times for the comparison cohort. The hazard ratio for any hospitalization since 1996 was 1.52 for survivors versus the comparison cohort, in multivariate analyses. The rate of hospital admission was higher for survivors than the comparison cohort (rate ratio, 1.67). With reference to the comparison cohort, the highest number of hospitalizations was seen for survivors of neuroblastoma and bone tumors (rate ratios, 2.21 and 2.55, respectively). Survivors were more frequently hospitalized for blood disorders (hazard ratio, 14.2).

"Research to identify strategies to prevent and manage survivors' health problems in outpatient settings is needed," the authors write.

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