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Keywords:

  • childhood cancers;
  • survivorship research;
  • late morbidity;
  • late effects

Abstract

Our study examines inpatient, hospital-related morbidity in a geographically-defined cohort of long-term cancer survivors diagnosed before age 20 years in the province of British Columbia (BC), Canada. A total of 1374 survivors diagnosed from 1981 to 1995 surviving at least 5-years postdiagnosis, and a matched sample of 13,740 BC residents, were identified from population registers, and linked to provincial hospitalization records from 1986 to 2000. Logistic regression was used to assess relative risk and effect of sociodemographic, clinical, and temporal factors on risk. Approximately 41% of survivors vs. 17% of the population sample had at least one type of hospitalization-related late morbidity in the observation period (adjusted RR 4.1, 95% CI 3.7–4.5). Those at highest risk were survivors of leukemia (RR 4.8, 95% CI 4.0–5.8), central nervous system tumors (RR 4.8, 95% CI 4.0–5.8), bone and soft tissue sarcomas (RR 4.9, 95% CI 3.8–6.2), and kidney cancer (RR 4.9, 95% CI 3.4–7.0). Adjusted relative risk was elevated for all types of morbidity except pregnancy and birth complications, and highest for neoplasms (including second primary cancers) (RR 21.7, 95% CI 16.3–28.7). Morbidity was elevated for all combinations of primary treatment and highest for those with previous radiation, chemotherapy, and surgery (RR 7.1, 95% CI 5.5–9.0). Over time, morbidity for late effects other than neoplasms became more prevalent. These results suggest that survivors are at increased ongoing risk of many types of hospital-related late morbidity, implying that long-term monitoring for multiple health problems is warranted.