Supportive Care in Cancer

, Volume 21, Issue 7, pp 1871–1878 | Cite as

The frequency, cost, and clinical outcomes of hypernatremia in patients hospitalized to a comprehensive cancer center

  • Abdulla K. SalahudeenEmail author
  • Simit M. Doshi
  • Pankaj Shah
Original Article



To study the frequency of hypernatremia in hospitalized cancer patients and its impact on clinical outcomes and healthcare cost.


Cross-sectional analysis of data obtained from patients admitted to the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center over a 3-month period in 2006. The clinical outcomes and hospital costs were compared among hypernatremics, eunatremics, and hyponatremics (serum sodium values include >147, 135–147, and <135 mEq/L, respectively).


Of 3,446 patients with at least one serum sodium value, 51.4 % were eunatremic, 46.0 % hyponatremic, and 2.6 % hypernatremic with most of the hypernatremia (90 %) acquired during hospital stay. The multivariate hazard ratio (HR) for mortality in hypernatremic was 5-fold higher than eunatremic (HR for 90 days—5.09 (95 % CI, 3.32–7.81); p < 0·01) and over 2-fold higher than hyponatremic (HR for 90 days—2.79 (95 % CI, 1.91–4.11), p < 0.01). The length of hospital stay in hypernatremic was 2-fold higher than in hyponatremic and 4-fold higher than in eunatremic (e.g., 27 ± 22 days in hypernatremic vs. 6 ± 5 days in eunatremic; mean ± SD, p < 0.01). The hospital bill was higher for hypernatremic compared with the rest of the groups (46 % over eunatremic and 37 % over hyponatremic, p < 0.01 for both).


Although hypernatremia was far less frequent than hyponatremia in the hospitalized cancer patients, most hypernatremia were acquired in the hospital and had substantially higher mortality, hospital stay, and hospital bills than eunatremic or even hyponatremic patients. Studies are warranted to determine whether avoidance of hypernatremia or its prompt and sustained correction improves clinical outcomes.


Hypernatremia Cancer Healthcare cost Survival Serum sodium Length of hospital stay Hyponatremia Electrolyte disorders Outcomes Leukemia 


Conflict of interest statement

We are submitting herewith the manuscript titled “The frequency, cost, and clinical outcomes of hypernatremia in patients hospitalized to a comprehensive cancer center”—to be considered for publication as an original article in Supportive Care in Cancer. There are no financial relationships to disclose for any of the authors. The manuscript has not been published elsewhere nor is it being considered for publication. We have full control of all primary data, and the journal is free to review these data if required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Abdulla K. Salahudeen
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  • Simit M. Doshi
    • 1
  • Pankaj Shah
    • 2
  1. 1.Division of Internal MedicineUT MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA
  2. 2.Division of EndocrinologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.Department of General Internal MedicineUniversity of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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