Outcomes and health care utilization of older patients with acute myeloid leukemia

Kirsty Sharplin, Li Yan A. Wee, Deepak Singhal, Suzanne Edwards, Silke Danner, Ian Lewis, Daniel Thomas, Andrew Wei, Agnes S.M. Yong, Devendra K. Hiwase

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The incidence of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in older patients is increasing, but practice guidelines balancing quality-of-life, time outside of hospital and overall survival (OS) are not established. Methods: We conducted a retrospective analysis comparing time outside hospital, OS and end-of-life care in AML patients ≥60 years treated with intensive chemotherapy (IC), hypomethylating agents (HMA) and best supportive care (BSC) in a tertiary hospital. Results: Of 201 patients diagnosed between 2005 and 2015, 54% received IC while 14% and 32% were treated with HMA and BSC respectively. Median OS was significantly higher in patients treated with IC and HMA compared with BSC (11.5 versus 16.2 versus 1.3 months; p < .0001). Median number of hospital admissions for the entire cohort was 3 (1–17) and patients spent <50% of their life after the diagnosis in the hospital setting. Compared to BSC, IC (HR 0.27, p < .0001) and HMA therapy (HR 0.16, p < .0001) were associated with the lower likelihood of spending at least 25% of survival time in hospital. Although 66% patients were referred to palliative care, the interval between referral to death was 24 (1–971) days and 46% patients died in the hospital. Conclusion: Older patients with AML, irrespective of treatment, require intensive health care resources, are more likely to die in hospital and less likely to use hospice services. Older AML patients treated with disease modifying therapy survive longer than those receiving BSC, and spend >50% of survival time outside the hospital. These data are informative for counselling older patients with AML.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Geriatric Oncology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Mar 2021


  • AML
  • Chemotherapy
  • Health care utilization
  • Older patients

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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