The Changing Demographics of Congenital Heart Disease Hospitalizations in the United States, 1998 Through 2010

Perspective:

The following are five points to remember regarding this research letter on hospitalizations for adults and children with congenital heart disease (CHD):

1. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample was used to identify CHD admissions to acute care hospitals from 1998-2010. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample is a stratified 20% sample of hospitalizations including 8 million annual admissions from 1,000 hospitals.

2. CHD diagnoses were classified by lesion complexity (simple, complex, and unclassified). Admissions were also studied by patient age, with patients <18 years old in the pediatric group and patients 18 years and over in the adult group. Comparison was made for hospital admissions by group between the first half of the study period (January 1998-June 2004) and the second half of the study period (July 2004-December 2010).

3. The annual number of CHD hospitalizations increased at a faster rate than pediatric hospitalizations. Adult admission volume was 87.8% higher during the second half of the study as compared with the first half, whereas pediatric admissions grew by 32.8%. Adults accounted for 36.5% of all CHD admissions in the second half of the study period, as compared with 28.9% in the first half of the study.

4. The increase in frequency of admissions for adults with CHD is multifactorial and is likely due to increased CHD survival, an aging patient population, and increasing comorbidities in adults with CHD.

5. This study confirms that adults are accounting for a greater and greater proportion of patients with CHD. Adult CHD patients will have an increasing need for medical resources in the future.

Clinical Topics: Congenital Heart Disease and Pediatric Cardiology, CHD & Pediatrics and Quality Improvement

Keywords: Child, Heart Diseases, Demography, Pediatrics, Cardiology, Comorbidity, Inpatients, Hospitalization, United States


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