Inpatient survival after gastrectomy for gastric cancer in the 21st century

Published:March 14, 2014DOI:



      Surgical treatment for gastric cancer has evolved substantially. To understand how changes in patient- and hospital-level factors are associated with outcomes over the last decade, we examined a nationally representative sample.


      Retrospective cross-sectional discharge data from the 2001–2010 Nationwide Inpatient Sample were analyzed using cross tabulation and multivariable regression modeling. Patients with a primary diagnosis of gastric cancer undergoing gastrectomy as primary procedure were included. We examined relationships between patient- and hospital-level factors, surgery type, and outcomes including in-hospital mortality and length of stay (LOS).


      A total of 67,327 patients with gastric cancer undergoing gastrectomy nationwide with complete information were included. Compared with patients treated in 2001, patients in 2010 were younger, more likely admitted electively, treated in a teaching hospital, or at an urban center. There was no difference in the type of procedure performed over time. Factors associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality included older age, male gender, and nonelective admission (P < 0.05). In multivariable analysis, patients undergoing gastrectomy in 2010 demonstrated 40% lower odds of in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 0.60; P = 0.008). Overall mean LOS was 13.9 d (standard error, 0.1) without change over time. Factors associated with longer LOS included procedure type, hospital location, nonelective admission, and comorbid disease (all P < 0.05).


      The adjusted odds of in-hospital mortality among surgically treated patients with gastric cancer decreased >40% between 2001 and 2010. Further research is warranted to determine if these findings are due to better patient selection, regionalization of care, or improvement of in-hospital quality of care.


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