Objective: Breast cancer (BC) incidence is reported to have declined in the nation. However, the role of depression on hospital costs for BC by race remains unknown. In this presentation, we examine two issues: (i) prevalence of BC with comorbid depression among discharged hospital patients; (ii) racial variation in the effect of co-morbid depression on hospital costs of BC patients.

Methods: We extracted data on depression and breast cancer from the 2008 Tennessee Hospital Discharge Data System (HDDS). The BC sample (n=2,523) patients were mostly white (86%) with an average age of 63 years. We computed age-adjusted BC prevalence rates per CDC methodology, and compared the hospital costs for BC patients with vs. without depression.

Results: Age adjusted BC rates (per 100,000) were higher among white than black patients (92.2 vs. 43.3, p<.000). Nearly one-fourth (23%) of BC patients had depression (no racial differences: (25% white vs. 24% black BC patients). Hospital costs for BC patients were 17% higher compared to non-BC patients, and cost was 55% higher among BC patients with co-morbid depression compared to non-depressed BC patients ($64,439 vs. $41,344). The higher cost for depressed BC patients was similar across both white and black BC females.

Conclusion: BC is higher among white females compared to black females. BC patients cost with depression tended to be significantly higher compared to non-depressed patients regardless of race. Since nearly one-fourth of BC patients were depressed with higher hospital cost, these results point to possible significant costs savings by treating depression before the need for hospitalization among BC patients.

Citation Format: Baqar A. Husaini, Oscar Miller, Meggan Novotny, Robert Levine. Racial similarities in the effects of depression on hospital cost of breast cancer [abstract]. In: Proceedings of the American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting 2017; 2017 Apr 1-5; Washington, DC. Philadelphia (PA): AACR; Cancer Res 2017;77(13 Suppl):Abstract nr 4218. doi:10.1158/1538-7445.AM2017-4218