Mortality, length of stay, and health care costs of febrile neutropenia-related hospitalizations among patients with breast cancer in the United States

Support Care Cancer. 2015 Mar;23(3):615-7. doi: 10.1007/s00520-014-2553-0. Epub 2015 Jan 4.


Purpose: Febrile neutropenia is a potentially life threatening complication of breast cancer chemotherapy associated with a significant amount of morbidity, mortality, and health care resource utilization. Recent data on the national estimates of mortality rate, length of stay, and health care costs among the subpopulation of febrile neutropenia admissions with breast cancer are lacking.

Methods: We used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to identify patients with breast cancer hospitalized for febrile neutropenia from 2009 to 2011. We derived data on inhospital mortality rate, length of stay, and mean health care costs and compared it with previous studies.

Results: The average inhospital mortality rate during 2009-2011 was 2.6 % (n = 685). Advanced age (≥ 65 years) was found to be significantly associated with a higher odds of mortality (4.4 vs 1.7 %, OR 2.7, 95 % CI 2.3-3.1, p < 0.01). The mean length of stay was 5.7 days (95 % CI 5.5-5.9 days), whereas the mean cost of hospitalization was $37,087 (95 % CI $34,009-$40,165).

Conclusion: Febrile neutropenia-related hospitalizations continue to account for significant morbidity, mortality, and health care resource utilization among patients with breast cancer. Further efforts should be focused on curtailing the rising health care costs without compromising the quality of care.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms* / drug therapy
  • Breast Neoplasms* / economics
  • Breast Neoplasms* / mortality
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Febrile Neutropenia* / economics
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Febrile Neutropenia* / mortality
  • Chemotherapy-Induced Febrile Neutropenia* / therapy
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Hospital Mortality*
  • Humans
  • Inpatients
  • Length of Stay*
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • United States / epidemiology