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No significant differences were found in plasma cell leukemia outcomes among racial groups of hospitalized patients in a recent study.

Plasma cell leukemia (PCL) is an aggressive subtype of multiple myeloma (MM) with a poor prognosis. Prior studies have documented racial disparities among MM patients regarding prevalence, treatment outcomes, and mortality, but limited data exists for PCL. 

A study in Clinical Hematology International examined the racial/ethnic differences in PCL outcomes among hospitalized patients in the United States.

Study Population

There were 14,303 hospitalizations for patients with a primary PCL diagnosis in the Nationwide Inpatient Sample database between 2010 and 2019. In this cohort, 53.6% were male. Most (83%) were aged between 40 and 79 years, with 6.8% in the 18–39 year range and 10.2% at ≥80 years. The racial/ethnic distribution was as follows: 59.4% Non-Hispanic (NH) White, 22.2% NH-Black, 7.8% Hispanic, 4.6% NH-Other, and 5.9% with missing information about race/ethnicity.

Decade-Long Decline in Plasma Cell Leukemia Hospitalization With No Racial Disparities

The rate of hospitalizations for PCL decreased over the 10-year study period across the entire cohort; the average annual percentage change was 1.6 in each racial/ethnic group. No statistically significant association was observed between race/ethnicity and hospitalization rates among hospitalized patients with a primary PCL diagnosis. 

The non-significant differences among racial groups were as follows: between the NH-White group and Hispanic (odds ratio (OR): 0.47; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.05–4.23, p=0.5), NH-Black (OR: 1.94; 95%CI: 0.3–3.54, p=0.95), and NH-Others (OR: 1.67, 95%CI: 0.47–5.89, p=0.42). The hospitalization rates were not significantly associated with death (OR: 1.85; 95%CI: 0.22–15.41, p=0.57).

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No Significant Associations in Hospitalization Rate Between Gender and Age

No statistically significant association was observed between gender and hospitalization rates (OR: 1.52; 95%CI: 0.67–3.42, p=0.32). There was also no significant association between age and hospitalization rates between the 18–39 year group and the 40–59 (OR: 3.78; 95%CI: 0.77–18.52, p=0.1), 60–79 (OR: 2.97; 95%CI: 0.65–13.49, p=0.16), and 80+ years (OR: 1.22; 95%CI: 0.2–7.29, p=0.83) groups. None of the other assessed factors had any significant association with PCL hospitalizations; these included zip code income quartile, hospital region and location, hospital teaching status, hospital bed size, and primary payer/insurance status.

In conclusion, the study found no significant differences among racial groups in hospitalizations or hospitalization-related mortality for PCL patients. These findings suggest that the factors driving increased hospitalization rates in MM may not be present to the same extent in PCL.


Wu, C., Dongarwar, D., & Hadidi, S. A. (2023). Racial disparities in plasma cell leukemia outcomes among hospitalized patients in the United States. Clinical Hematology International, 5(4). https://doi.org/10.46989/001c.87755