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Cancer Patient Healthcare-Associated Infections on the Rise

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Incidence influenced by patient’s race and insurance status

Recent study results show that while healthcare-associated infections (HAI) among cancer patients increased over a 10-year period, the number of deaths from those infections decreased.

Henry Ford Hospital researchers used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database to identify more than 2.5 million patients who, between 1999 and 2009, underwent 1 of the following major cancer surgeries: colectomy, cystectomy, esophagectomy, gastrectomy, hysterectomy, pneumonectomy, pancreatectomy, and prostatectomy.

Study lead author Jesse Sammon, DO, of Henry Ford’s Vattikuti Urology Institute, and his colleagues discovered that the occurrence of HAIs related to surgery increased 2.7% each year during the 10-year study period. Yet, HAI-related deaths declined by 1.3% per year.

However, when examining sociodemographic factors, researchers learned that compared with white patients, African Americans experienced a 26% increase in HAIs over the 10-year study period. Furthermore, the odds of HAI rose by 18% to 67% for Medicare, Medicaid, or uninsured patients.

The study is published in the latest issue of the journal Cancer.

Source: Henry Ford Health System.