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This article is the author’s final published version in The oncologist, Volume 27, Issue 1, February 2022, Pages e37 - e44.

The published version is available at Copyright © Li et al.


Background: Older adults (≥65 years) with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers who receive chemotherapy are at increased risk of hospitalization caused by treatment-related toxicity. Geriatric assessment (GA) has been previously shown to predict risk of toxicity in older adults undergoing chemotherapy. However, studies incorporating the GA specifically in older adults with GI cancers have been limited. This study sought to identify GA-based risk factors for chemotherapy toxicity-related hospitalization among older adults with GI cancers.

Patients and methods: We performed a secondary post hoc subgroup analysis of two prospective studies used to develop and validate a GA-based chemotherapy toxicity score. The incidence of unplanned hospitalizations during the course of chemotherapy treatment was determined.

Results: This analysis included 199 patients aged ≥65 years with a diagnosis of GI cancer (85 colorectal, 51 gastric/esophageal, and 63 pancreatic/hepatobiliary). Sixty-five (32.7%) patients had ≥1 hospitalization. Univariate analysis identified sex (female), cardiac comorbidity, stage IV disease, low serum albumin, cancer type (gastric/esophageal), hearing deficits, and polypharmacy as risk factors for hospitalization. Multivariable analyses found that patients who had cardiac comorbidity (OR 2.48, 95% CI 1.13-5.42) were significantly more likely to be hospitalized.

Conclusion: Cardiac comorbidity may be a risk factor for hospitalization in older adults with GI cancers receiving chemotherapy. Further studies with larger sample sizes are warranted to examine the relationship between GA measures and hospitalization in this vulnerable population.

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

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