Investigators Report on Incidence, Cost of Hospitalizations Associated with SSTIs Caused by S. aureus

Suaya, et al. (2014) say the emergence of community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (SA) and its role in skin and soft tissue infections (SSTIs) has accentuated the role of SA-SSTIs in hospitalizations. The researchers used the Nationwide Inpatient Sample and Census Bureau data to quantify population-based incidence and associated cost for SA-SSTI hospitalizations.

SA-SSTI associated hospitalizations increased 123% from 160,811 to 358,212 between 2001 and 2009, and they represented an increasing share of SA- hospitalizations (39% to 51%). SA-SSTI incidence (per 100,000 people) doubled from 57 in 2001 to 117 in 2009 (p < 0.01). A significant increase was observed in all age groups. Adults aged 75+ years and children 0-17 years experienced the lowest (27%) and highest (305%) incidence increase, respectively. However, the oldest age group still had the highest SA-SSTI hospitalization incidence across all study years. Total annual cost of SA-SSTI hospitalizations also increased and peaked in 2008 at $4.84 billion, a 44% increase from 2001. In 2009, the average associated cost of a SA-SSTI hospitalization was $11,622 (SE = $200).

The researchers conclude that there has been an increase in the incidence and associated cost of SA-SSTI hospitalizations in the U.S. between 2001 and 2009, with the highest incidence increase seen in children 0-17 years; however, the greatest burden was still seen in the population over 75 years. By 2009, SSTI diagnoses were present in about half of all SA-hospitalizations. Their research was published in BMC Infectious Diseases.

Reference: Suaya JA, Mera RM, Cassidy A, et al. Incidence and cost of hospitalizations associated with Staphylococcus aureus skin and soft tissue infections in the United States from 2001 through 2009. BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:296  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-296.