Trends in Hospitalizations for Sickle Cell Disease Related-Complications in USA 2004 - 2012

An Thi Nhat Ho, Artem Shmelev, Astha Joshi, Nghi Ho


Background: Sickle cell disease (SCD) affects 100,000 patients in the USA. However, no recent data was available for annual national trends in hospitalization rates, in-hospital mortality, hospital length of stay (LOS) and costs of SCD admissions due to its complications.

Methods: This study was conducted to study the trends of hospitalization rates, in-hospital mortality, LOS and hospital charges due to SCD-related complications in African American (AA) patients from 2004 to 2012 in the USA. Complications included acute chest syndrome, splenic sequestration, bacterial pneumonia, sepsis, stroke, deep vein thrombosis (DVT) or pulmonary embolism, retinal circulation complications, priapism, disorders related to biliary stones, or those required blood transfusions. We obtained the study population from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample.

Results: Hospital admission rate rose steadily from 106 per 100,000 AA population in 2004 to 137 in 2012. Seasonal and trend decomposition revealed the highest hospitalization rate in January. Hospital LOS decreased from 7.1 7.65 days in 2004 to 6.23 6.42 days in 2012. Hospital charges increased from 15.35 (8.99 - 27.57) thousand dollars per admission in 2004 to 24.78 (14.37 - 45.24) in 2012. Medicaid remained the primary payer in the highest number of patients in 9 years. In-hospital mortality did not change significantly, being 1.03% in 2004 and 1.02% in 2012, with no significant seasonal variation in mortality. Most common complications were acute pain crisis and blood transfusion requirement. Biliary pathology was the only complication that decreased over time. Admissions for each complication were initially uprising with a decline from 2010 to 2012, except for DVT/pulmonary embolism with a significant uptrend.

Conclusions: Overall, from 2004 to 2012, hospital admission rates and charges increased, and hospital LOS decreased, while in-hospital mortality remained unchanged.

J Hematol. 2019;8(1):11-16


Sickle cell disease; Trend; In-hospital mortality; Admission rates; Length of stay

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