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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Jan 19;56(2):25-9.

Hospital stays, hospital charges, and in-hospital deaths among infants with selected birth defects--United States, 2003.


Birth defects (BDs) are conditions that 1) result from a malformation, deformation, or disruption in one or more parts of the body; 2) are present at birth; and 3) have a serious, adverse effect on health, development, or functional ability. BDs are leading causes of pediatric hospitalizations, medical expenditures, and infant mortality. To estimate national hospital charges and rates of in-hospital deaths for a greater number of specific BDs than estimated in previous reports, investigators at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and CDC used the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project 2003 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID), developed and distributed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. KID is a 10% sample of hospital discharges after uncomplicated births and an 80% sample of all other pediatric discharges from 36 participating states. Data are weighted to represent all pediatric hospitalizations in the United States. The investigators analyzed hospital stays during 2003 for newborn infants with any of 35 BDs. This report describes the results of that analysis, which indicated substantial variation among BDs regarding average length of stay, average hospital charge, and the incidence of in-hospital deaths. Average length of stay was greatest for infants with surgically repaired gastroschisis or omphalocele. Average hospital charges were highest for infants with hypoplastic left heart syndrome and common truncus arteriosus. Although anencephaly, trisomy 13, and trisomy 18 were associated with the highest rates of in-hospital death, the largest total numbers of deaths associated with neonatal hospitalizations occurred in infants with diaphragmatic hernia and renal agenesis. Further studies are needed to distinguish outcomes for infants with isolated and multiple defects and to assess longer-term outcomes.

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