Hypertensive disorders of pregnancy (HDP) represent the most common cause of maternal–fetal morbidity and mortality. Yet, the prevalence and cost of postpartum (42-day) readmission (PPR) among HDP-complicated pregnancies in the United States remains unknown. This study provides national prevalence and cost estimates of HDP, and examine factors associated with potentially preventable PPR following HDP-complicated pregnancies.
The 2013 and 2014 Nationwide Readmissions Databases were used to investigate HDP and PPR among delivery hospitalizations to women aged 15–49 years. PPR rates, length of stay, and costs were stratified by four HDP subtypes based on timing and severity of their condition. Survey logistic regression was employed to generate adjusted odds ratios for the association between HDP and PPR.
In 2013 and 2014, there were 6.3 million delivery hospitalizations; 666 506 (10.6%) were complicated by HDP. Annually, HDP was responsible for higher rates of potentially preventable PPR. Among HDP-complicated pregnancies, the 42-day all-cause PPR rate ranged from 2.5% (gestational hypertension) to 4.6% (superimposed preeclampsia/eclampsia). Compared with normotensive pregnancies, HDP resulted in an excess 404 800 hospital days and inpatient care costs of $731 million. Even after controlling for patient-level and hospital-level confounders, all hypertensive subgroups continued to have at least two-fold, statistically significant, increased odds of potentially preventable PPR.
HDP is associated with increased risk of PPR and substantial medical costs. Preventive efforts should be made to identify women at increased risk of PPR during hospitalization so that transition care intervention can be initiated.