Shorter hospital stays for breast cancer

Health Rep. 2004 Oct;16(1):19-31.


Objectives: This article examines trends in and factors influencing the length of stay for female breast cancer patients who were hospitalized between 1981 and 2000.

Data sources: The hospital data are from the Hospital Morbidity Database and the Health Person-oriented Information Database, both maintained by Statistics Canada. Data on new cases of breast cancer are from the Canadian Cancer Registry and the National Cancer Incidence Reporting System.

Analytical techniques: Descriptive analyses present length of stayfor all hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of breast cancer, by four-year period and by the patient's age, cancer stage, comorbid conditions and surgical procedures. Logistic regression is used to examine associations between these factors and length of stay.

Main results: Since the early 1980s, the average length of stay in hospital for female breast cancer has fallen from 15.1 to 4.5 days. Declines occurred regardless of age group, cancer stage, procedure and comorbid conditions. Average stays first began to fall for less serious cases, but were eventually apparent for even the most serious.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Breast Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospitalization / trends*
  • Humans
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Length of Stay / trends*
  • Mastectomy / statistics & numerical data
  • Mastectomy, Segmental / statistics & numerical data
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Public Health Informatics
  • Registries
  • Time Factors