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BACKGROUND: There is no convincing data on the trends of hospitalizations, mortality, cost, and demographic variations associated with inpatient admissions for gastric cancer in the USA. The aim of this study was to use a national database of US hospitals to evaluate the trends associated with gastric cancer. METHODS: We analyzed the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) database for all patients in whom gastric cancer (ICD-9 code: 151.0, 151.1, 151.2, 151.3, 151.4, 151.5, 151.6, 151.8, 151.9) was the principal discharge diagnosis during the period, 2003-2014. The NIS is the largest publicly available all-payer inpatient care database in the US. It contains data from approximately eight million hospital stays each year. The statistical significance of the difference in the number of hospital discharges, length of stay, and hospital costs over the study period was determined by regression analysis. RESULTS: In 2003, there were 23,921 admissions with a principal discharge diagnosis of gastric cancer as compared to 21,540 in 2014 (P < 0.01). The mean length of stay for gastric cancer decreased by 17% between 2003 and 2014 from 10.9 days to 8.95 days (P < 0.01). However, during this period, the mean hospital charges increased significantly by 21% from $ 75,341 per patient in 2003 to $ 91,385 per patient in 2014 (P < 0.001). There was a more significant reduction in mortality over a period of 11 years from 2428 (10.15%) in 2003 to 1345 (6.24%) in 2014 (P < 0.01). The aggregate charges (i.e., "national bill") for gastric cancer increased significantly from 1.79 bn $ to 1. 96 bn $ (P < 0.001), despite decrease in hospitalization (inflation adjusted). CONCLUSION: Although the number of inpatient admissions for gastric cancer have decreased over the past decade, the healthcare burden and cost related to it has increased significantly. Inpatient mortality is decreasing which is consistent with overall decrease in gastric cancer-related deaths. Cost increase associated with gastric cancer contributed significantly to the national healthcare bill.


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Originally published in Journal of Hematology and Oncology, 11(1), 138. The original material can be found here.

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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.