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Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2014 Dec;100(12):934-43. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23262. Epub 2014 Jun 27.

Pediatric inpatient hospital resource use for congenital heart defects.

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National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia; Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.



Congenital heart defects (CHDs) occur in approximately 8 per 1000 live births. Improvements in detection and treatment have increased survival. Few national estimates of the healthcare costs for infants, children and adolescents with CHDs are available.


We estimated hospital costs for hospitalizations using pediatric (0-20 years) hospital discharge data from the 2009 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) for hospitalizations with CHD diagnoses. Estimates were up-weighted to be nationally representative. Mean costs were compared by demographic factors and presence of critical CHDs (CCHDs).


Up-weighting of the KID generated an estimated 4,461,615 pediatric hospitalizations nationwide, excluding normal newborn births. The 163,980 (3.7%) pediatric hospitalizations with CHDs accounted for approximately $5.6 billion in hospital costs, representing 15.1% of costs for all pediatric hospitalizations in 2009. Approximately 17% of CHD hospitalizations had a CCHD, but it varied by age: approximately 14% of hospitalizations of infants, 30% of hospitalizations of patients aged 1 to 10 years, and 25% of hospitalizations of patients aged 11 to 20 years. Mean costs of CHD hospitalizations were higher in infancy ($36,601) than at older ages and were higher for hospitalizations with a CCHD diagnosis ($52,899). Hospitalizations with CCHDs accounted for 26.7% of all costs for CHD hospitalizations, with hypoplastic left heart syndrome, coarctation of the aorta, and tetralogy of Fallot having the highest total costs.


Hospitalizations for children with CHDs have disproportionately high hospital costs compared with other pediatric hospitalizations, and the 17% of hospitalizations with CCHD diagnoses accounted for 27% of CHD hospital costs.


Kids' Inpatient Database; healthcare resource use; heart defects, congenital; hospital costs

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