Pulmonary and overall healthcare utilization after childhood and young adult thyroid cancer

in Endocrine-Related Cancer
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  • 1 Pediatric Oncology Group of Ontario, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 2 Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 3 Health Studies, and the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, University of Toronto Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 4 Division of Endocrinology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 5 Department of Pediatrics, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
  • 6 Centre for Health Services Research, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Correspondence should be addressed to G Di Giuseppe: gdigiuseppe@pogo.ca
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Differentiated thyroid carcinoma (DTC) in children, adolescents, and young adults is associated with excellent prognosis. However, little is known about the long-term utilization of healthcare resources among survivors. The objective of this study was to compare the utilization of healthcare resources among DTC survivors to the general population, with a focus on pulmonary-related resource utilization. Population-based linked data were used to retrospectively ascertain DTC patients from the Ontario Cancer Registry, age <30 years at diagnosis between 1992 and 2011. DTC cases were individually matched 1:10 to the general population on age, sex, diagnosis year, and rural status. Billing records for all-cause hospitalizations, emergency department visits, pulmonary subspecialist visits, and chest imaging were compared using incidence rate ratios (IRR). A total of 2456 individuals with DTC were identified, with women representing the majority (82.8%) of cases. Compared to controls, hospitalization and emergency department visit IRRs were 2.56 (95% CI, 2.49–2.63) and 2.22 (95% CI, 2.18–2.26), respectively. An excess of pulmonary diagnostic imaging was observed for chest radiography (IRR, 2.7; 95% CI, 2.6–2.8) and pulmonary CT’s (IRR, 17.5; 95% CI, 15.8–19.3). Patients who underwent radioactive iodine therapy had a higher incidence of pulmonary-related healthcare utilization than those who did not. The highest healthcare utilization for all modalities was observed in the 30 to 90 days after DTC diagnosis with a steady decline further from diagnosis; however, elevated utilization was observed throughout the observation period. Health services utilization is high for primary DTC survivors, irrespective of the time since diagnosis. Radioactive iodine therapy is associated with higher rates of utilization. These findings have ramifications for treatment, surveillance and for policy formulation.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplemental Table 1. Pulmonary-related procedure codes used in the administrative data.
    • Supplemental Table 2. Absolute incidence rates of hospitalizations and emergency department visits
    • Supplemental Table 3. Top five reasons for an in-patient hospitalization using the primary ICD diagnostic code.
    • Supplemental Table 4. Absolute incidence rates of pulmonary-related utilization
    • Supplemental Table 5. Absolute incidence rates of physician subspecialty billing
    • Supplemental Figure 1. Abdominal and pelvic computed tomography imaging utilization.

 

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