Background: Older patients with myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), particularly those with no or one cytopenia and no transfusion dependence, typically have an indolent course. Approximately, half of these receive the recommended diagnostic evaluation (DE) for MDS. We explored factors determining DE in these patients and its impact on subsequent treatment and outcomes.
Patients and methods: We used 2011-2014 Medicare data to identify patients ≥66 years of age diagnosed with MDS. We used Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis to identify combinations of factors associated with DE and its impact on subsequent treatment. Variables examined included demographics, comorbidities, nursing home status, and investigative procedures performed. We conducted a logistic regression analysis to identify correlates associated with receipt of DE and treatment.
Results: Of 16 851 patients with MDS, 51% underwent DE. patients with MDS with no cytopenia (n = 3908) had the lowest uptake of DE (34.7%). Compared to patients with no cytopenia, those with any cytopenia had nearly 3 times higher odds of receiving DE [adjusted odds ratio (AOR), 2.81: 95% CI, 2.60-3.04] and the odds were higher for men than for women [AOR, 1.39: 95%CI, 1.30-1.48] and for Non-Hispanic Whites [vs. everyone else (AOR, 1.17: 95% CI, 1.06-1.29)]. The CART showed DE as the principal discriminating node, followed by the presence of any cytopenia for receiving MDS treatment. The lowest percentage of treatment was observed in patients without DE, at 14.6%.
Conclusion: In this select older patients with MDS, we identified disparities in accurate diagnosis by demographic and clinical factors. Receipt of DE influenced subsequent treatment but not survival.
Keywords: MDS; diagnostic evaluation; disparities; myelodysplastic syndromes.
- myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS)