Background and objectives: Because of late effects among survivors of cancer in young people, increased hospitalisations would be expected. This study determined the occurrence, frequency and days in hospital (DIH) of hospital admissions among 5-year survivors of childhood and adolescent cancer diagnosed in British Columbia (BC), compared hospitalisation risk with the general population and examined the impact of sociodemographic, health care system and clinical factors.
Design: This population-based study frequency matched 1157 survivors of cancer diagnosed before 20 years of age from 1970 to 1992 from the BC Cancer Registry with 11,570 randomly selected individuals from BC's health insurance plan Client Registry. Administrative hospitalisation records from 1998 to 2000 were linked to study cohorts, and regression and trend analyses were carried out.
Results: From 1998 to 2000, 240 (21%) of survivors and 614 (5.3%) of the population sample were admitted to hospital at least once [adjusted OR=4.36 (95% CI 3.68-5.16)]. Hospitalised survivors had a higher average number of admissions (2.0 versus 1.5 admissions, respectively) and longer mean DIH (10.9 versus 7.8d, respectively) than hospitalised population controls. Female gender and older age increased the risk of hospitalisation, as did the presence of a relapse or second cancer by 5 years post-diagnosis.
Conclusion: Our cohort of child and adolescent cancer survivors had higher odds of hospitalisation, more admissions among those hospitalised and longer stay in hospital compared to the population sample. This has implications for health care system resources and appropriate management of late effects of survivors.
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