The recent study by Liu and colleagues1 provides timely data on the temporal trends of case fatality among patients with and without cancer who were hospitalized for sepsis, using the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) data set. However, several areas of the methodological approach of this study confound the interpretation of their findings.
The authors have examined the temporal trends of case fatality in sepsis hospitalizations using generalized linear models, but they do not provide details on model construction. Specifically, what were the covariates included in these models to ensure that the resultant trends are risk-adjusted over time?
In addition, in the propensity score–adjusted models comparing case fatality in patients with and without cancer who were hospitalized for sepsis, the authors report constructing the propensity score only on the basis of the patient’s age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity score. What were the other covariates included in these models?