Objectives: The objective of the present study was to quantify the national pediatric inpatient inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) burden in terms of the number of IBD-related hospitalizations, the number of days spent in the hospital, and hospitalization costs.
Methods: Hospitalizations for children and adolescents 20 years and younger with a primary diagnosis of either Crohn disease (CD) or ulcerative colitis (UC) were selected from the 2006 Kids’ Inpatient Database (KID). Length of the hospital stay in days (LOS) and charges for the hospitalization were found directly in the Kids’ Inpatient Database, and cost was calculated using the hospital's cost-to-charge ratio. Predictor variables included patient characteristics, such as age and severity of illness, and hospital characteristics. Ordinary-least-squares regressions were developed and estimated to explain hospitalization costs.
Results: In 2006, there were 10,777 IBD-related hospitalizations. The total and mean costs for CD were $66.3 million and $10,176 (95% confidence interval [CI] $9647–$10,705), and for UC were $48.6 million and $11,836 (95% CI $10,760-$12,912). For CD, 0- to 5-year-old patients had the highest mean LOS (8.10, 95% CI 5.53–10.67, days) and mean cost ($13,894, 95% CI $9053–$18,735), whereas, for UC, 11- to 15-year-old patients had the highest mean LOS (7.49, 95% CI 6.88–8.10, 95% CI 5.53–10.67, days) and mean cost ($13,407, 95% CI $11,704–$15,110).
Conclusions: For a pediatric disease with a rather low prevalence rate, the estimated annual inpatient pediatric burden of IBD is a sizeable $152.4 million (2010 US$) and 64,985 days spent in the hospital. As medications and outpatient treatments improve for the treatment of IBD, there is an opportunity for significant reduction in inpatient burden.