Non-Hispanic Black Patients Had Higher Rates of Multiple Myeloma Hospitalization

Non-Hispanic Black patients with multiple myeloma (MM) were more likely to have MM-related hospitalizations than non-Hispanic White counterparts, according to a recent study.

In order to evaluate whether gaps in care between different racial/ethnic groups were decreasing over time, researchers evaluated trends of MM-related hospitalizations and all-cause in-hospital mortality among Hispanics and non-Hispanic Blacks. They used data from 2008 to 2017 from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS).

During the 10-year study period, MM-related hospitalizations occurred in 476.0 per 100,000 hospitalizations for non-Hispanic Blacks compared with 305.6 per 100,000 for non-Hispanic whites (P<.001). The most common reason for hospitalization in non-Hispanic Blacks was acute renal failure.

Rates of MM-related in-hospital mortality were higher in Hispanics than in non-Hispanic white or Blacks (6.2% vs. 5.3%;P<.001).

The study also indicated that non-Hispanic Blacks received fewer stem cell transplants, more in-patient blood product transfusions, fewer palliative care consultations, less chemotherapy, and more intensive care compared with non-Hispanic whites.

Both non-Hispanic Blacks and Hispanics had longer length of stay and higher mean cost of hospitalization than non-Hispanic whites, but the differences did not achieve statistical significance.

The researchers called this finding “striking, as cost for these patients was higher despite their comparatively decreased treatment with chemotherapy and costly ASCT.”

Overall, there was a statistically significantly decline of in-hospital mortality among patients with MM during the study period. However, the trend of non-Hispanic Blacks alone for in-hospital mortality did not achieve statistical significance.

“This concerning finding underscores the reality that health disparities continue to disproportionately affect non-Hispanic Blacks with MM,” the researchers wrote.