Purpose: There are limited data on health care use among survivors of young adult cancers. We aimed to describe patterns of hospitalization among a cohort of long-term survivors compared with noncancer controls.
Methods: Persons diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 44 years with malignancies in Ontario, Canada, from 1992 to 1999, who lived at least 5 years recurrence free, were identified using the Ontario Cancer Registry and matched to noncancer controls. Hospitalizations were determined using hospital discharges, and rates were compared between survivors and controls. The absolute excess rate of hospitalizations was determined for each type of malignancy in survivors per 100 person-years of follow-up.
Results: The cohort included 20,275 survivors and 101,344 noncancer controls. During the study period, 6,948 (34.3%) survivors were admitted to the hospital and the adjusted relative rate (ARR) of hospitalizations in survivors compared with controls was 1.51 (95% CI, 1.48 to 1.54). The rate of hospitalization was highest for survivors of upper GI, leukemia, and urologic malignancies. The hospitalization rate (per person) for survivors significantly decreased from 0.22 in the first time period examined (5 to 8 years after diagnosis) to 0.15 in the last time period examined (18 to 20 years after diagnosis, P < .0001). However, at all time periods, survivors were more likely to be hospitalized than controls (ARR at 5 to 8 years, 1.67 [95% CI, 1.57 to 1.81]; ARR at 18 to 20 years, 1.22 [95% CI, 1.08 to 1.37]).
Conclusion: Survivors of young adult cancers have an increased rate of hospitalization compared with controls. The rate of hospitalization for 20-year survivors did not return to baseline, indicating a substantial and persistent burden of late effects among this generally young population.
© 2015 by American Society of Clinical Oncology.