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.