Patients with a drug allergy are known to have increased morbidity and mortality. Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) are known to have recurrent severe infections due to immunosuppression from chemotherapy. The prevalence of drug allergy in patients with AML and its effect on morbidity and mortality has not been previously studied.
Using electronic health records, we established a cohort of 1357 patients with a diagnosis of AML by ICD-9 or ICD-10 codes between January 2011 and July 2017. We performed Fisher exact tests and unpaired t-tests to compare prevalence of drug allergy in the AML population to the general population and to assess mortality and hospitalizations in patients with drug allergies compared to those without a documented drug allergy. We performed subset analysis for individual drug allergies.
22% of AML patients had one or more drug allergies, compared to 11% of the general patient population, p< 0.001. AML patients with drug allergies did not have increased mortality compared to those without documented allergies (p=0.3), however, they did have an increased mean number of days hospitalized (208 vs 156; p =0.055).
AML patients are more likely to have drug allergies compared to other patients. This could be due to increased antibiotic exposure leading to either true antibiotic reactions or patient’s being inappropriate labeled to have a drug allergy. We showed increased length of total time hospitalized in patients with a documented drug allergy, this may be due to delay in time to administer antibiotics.