Medical Oncology

, 36:90 | Cite as

Outcomes of hypercalcemia of malignancy in patients with solid cancer: a national inpatient analysis

  • Shruti BhandariEmail author
  • Rohit Kumar
  • Prashant Tripathi
  • Abigail Chan
  • Sarah Mudra
  • Rebecca Redman
Short Communication


Hypercalcemia of malignancy (HCM) is present in one-third of cancer patients and is associated with a significant mortality risk of 50% within 1 month of diagnosis. We aimed to study the impact and outcomes of HCM in hospitalized patients with solid cancer. We analyzed data captured in the National Inpatient Sample database of the Agency of Healthcare Research and Quality. The study included all hospitalizations in adult solid cancer patients between January 2012 and September 2015 with hypercalcemia. All encounters associated with HCM were identified using the ICD-9 code (275.42) for hypercalcemia. Encounters with other known causes of hypercalcemia were excluded. The co-primary outcomes were incidence of HCM and inpatient mortality. During the study period, 7,501,209 hospitalizations met our inclusion criteria. Approximately 1.7% (n = 126,875) of these hospitalizations were related to HCM. This corresponds to approximately 1 in 59 solid malignancy associated hospitalizations. The mean age of patients with HCM was 65.7 years; 49% were females; 69% were Caucasians; 73% had metastatic disease and 22% received a palliative care consult. When compared to those without HCM, those hospitalized with HCM had a significantly longer mean hospital length of stay (7.3 days vs. 5.6 days, p < 0.001), higher inpatient mortality (12.3% vs. 5.5%, adjusted OR 1.76 (95% CI 1.69–1.84), p < 0·0001), and a greater likelihood of discharge to other facilities (27.4% vs. 16.2%, p < 0.0001). Although HCM accounts for < 2% of all hospitalizations in patients with solid cancer, those with HCM display higher mortality than those without HCM.


Hypercalcemia of malignancy Solid cancer Inpatient mortality National inpatient sample 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no competing interest.

Ethical approval

This study was a retrospective study using de-identified information from a database and did not directly interact with human participants.

Supplementary material

12032_2019_1315_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, James Graham Brown Cancer CenterUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.Division of Infectious DiseaseUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineSinai Hospital of BaltimoreBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.School of MedicineUniversity of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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