Hemoglobin level trajectories in the early treatment period are related with survival outcomes in patients with breast cancer

Chia Lin Lee, Chun Hao Tsai, Dah Cherng Yeh, Chi Shy Lin, Yu Fen Li, Huey En Tzeng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Hemoglobin (Hb) levels are reportedly related with treatment outcomes and survival in patients of breast cancer. However, the long-term change in Hb levels after treatment and the effects of Hb on survival remain unknown. This retrospective cohort study enrolled 1931 breast cancer patients with pathological stage I-IV between 1/1/2003 and 12/31/2013. Latent class modeling was used to identify trajectories in monthly Hb levels over time. The primary endpoint was 10-year cancer-related death. We identified 5 distinct Hb trajectories: persistent anemia (5.6 %; n = 109), improved anemia (4.8 %, n = 93), mild anemia (21.0%; n = 406), low normal Hb (46.6 %; n = 899), and normal Hb (21.9%; n = 424). Compared with the normal-Hb group, trajectories with low Hb levels had worst 10-year survival. The adjusted hazard ratios were 1.79(95% CI, 0.91-3.53) for the improved anemia group, 1.09(95% CI, 0.68-1.74) for the mild anemia group, 1.06 (95% CI, 0.71-1.60) for the low normal Hb group, and 2.19(95% CI 1.28-3.75) for the persistent anemia group. Our findings show there are five Hb level trajectories during breast cancer treatment. The anemia Hb level trajectory during the first 12 months after treatment reflect the worst cancerrelated 10-year survival in breast cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1569-1579
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2017
Externally publishedYes



  • Breast cancer
  • Hemoglobin
  • Survival
  • Trajectory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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