Background: The purpose of this study was to describe hospital use patterns of children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and human immunodeficiency virus type-1 (HIV) infection in the United States.
Methods: Hospital discharges of children with 1 or both of the 2 conditions (SCD and HIV infection) were analyzed using nationally weighted data from the 1994 to 2003 Nationwide Inpatient Databases of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Demographic and hospital characteristics, length of stay, charges and the most frequent diagnoses and procedures performed during the hospitalization were compared. Multivariate logistic regression was used to analyze the effects of age, sex and HIV infection on number of hospitalizations for selected conditions.
Results: There were an estimated 686 hospitalizations of children with SCD and HIV infection in the United States in the 10-year period 1994–2003; these hospitalizations aggregated in the South (78.2%) and their expected payer was mostly Medicaid/Medicare (82.0%). Their average length of stay was longer than that of children with SCD alone (8.0 days vs. 4.3 days, respectively), and the mean charges associated with the hospitalization were also higher ($18,291 vs. $9584). Compared with patients with SCD without HIV, HIV infection conferred a higher risk for hospitalizations for bacterial infections and sepsis (odds ratio 2.75; 95% CI, 1.66–4.6), but less of a risk for vaso-occlusive crises (odds ratio 0.32; 95% CI, 0.22–0.48). Inpatient case-fatality rate of children with SCD and HIV was no different from that of children with SCD alone, but lower than that of the rest of children with HIV infection.
Conclusions: Hospitalized children with SCD and HIV infection have higher odds of infection than those with SCD alone. Their inpatient case-fatality rate is lower than that of children with HIV infection alone. These findings should be considered in designing appropriate interventions for this population.