A retrospective database analysis was conducted to evaluate hospitalization outcomes and charges among elderly acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients. The data source was a longitudinal (2000–2003) inpatient database from 28 US hospitals. Data on 275 AML patients aged 60 and older were analyzed for demographic and treatment characteristics, hospital mortality, length of stay (LOS), overall days of stay (DOS), and charges across multiple admissions. Multivariate modeling was performed to determine factors that influenced outcomes. Overall, 115 (41.8%) patients received inpatient chemotherapy (CT); most (90.4%) received it on the first admission. Of all initial CT regimens 40.9% consisted of a single agent. The mean LOS for initial hospitalization was 23.0 (SD 21.8) days for patients who received CT and 6.7 (SD 7.5) days for those who did not. One quarter (25.3%) of initial hospitalizations resulted in death. On initial hospitalization, mean total charges were $113,118 (SD $220,417) for patients who received CT and $43,999 (SD $190,533) for those who did not; for both groups mean charges were higher than respective subsequent admission charges. Overall, in-hospital mortality did not differ significantly between on-CT and off-CT groups (43.5 and 38.8%, respectively). In multivariate modeling, CT was significantly associated (P < 0.0001) with increased charges and LOS. Elderly patients with AML incurred substantial hospital charges and inpatient mortality. The highest charges and a substantial number of deaths occurred during first admission. Although treatment with CT was associated with increased charges and days in-hospital, inpatient mortality in the two groups was found to be similar. Am. J. Hematol., 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.