Cachexia & debility diagnoses in hospitalized children and adolescents with complex chronic conditions: evidence from the Kids’ Inpatient Database
Objective: To characterize the frequency, cost, and hospital-reported outcomes of cachexia and debility in children and adolescents with complex chronic conditions (CCCs).
Methods: We identified children and adolescents (aged ≤20 years) with CCCs, cachexia, and debility in the Kids’ Inpatient Database [Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality]. We then compared the characteristics of patients and hospitalizations, including cost and duration of stay, for CCCs with and without cachexia and/ or debility. We examined factors that predict risk of inpatient mortality in children and adolescents with CCCs using a logistic regression model. We examined factors that impact duration of stay and cost in children and adolescents with CCCs using negative binomial regression models. All costs are reported in US dollars in 2014 using Consumer Price Index inflation adjustment.
Results: We estimated the incidence of hospitalization of cachexia in children and adolescents with CCCs at 1,395 discharges during the sample period, which ranged from 277 discharges in 2003 to 473 discharges in 2012. We estimated the incidence of hospitalization due to debility in children and adolescents with CCCs at 421 discharges during the sample period, which ranged from 39 discharges in 2003 to 217 discharges in 2012. Cachexia was associated with a 60% increase in the risk of inpatient mortality, whereas debility was associated with a 40% decrease in the risk of mortality. Cachexia and debility increased duration of stay in hospital (17% and 39% longer stays, respectively). Median cost of hospitalization was $15,441.59 and $23,796.16 for children and adolescents with cachexia and debility, respectively.
Conclusions: Incidence of hospitalization for cachexia in children and adolescents with CCCs is less than that for adults but the frequency of cachexia diagnoses increased over time. Estimates of the incidence of hospitalization with debility in children and adolescents with CCCs have not been reported, but our study demonstrates that the frequency of these discharges is also increasing.