Objectives: In this study we determined the incidence and direct inpatient and outpatient costs of systemic fungal infections (candidiasis, aspergillosis, cryptococcosis, histoplasmosis) in 1998.
Methods: Using primarily the National Hospital Discharge Survey (NHDS) for incidence and the Maryland Hospital Discharge Data Set (MDHDDS) for costs, we surveyed four systemic fungal infections in patients who also had HIV/AIDS, neoplasia, transplant, and all other concomitant diagnoses. Using a case-control method, we compared the cases with controls (those without fungal infections with the same underlying comorbidity) to obtain the incremental hospitalization costs. We used the Student's t-test to determine significance of incremental hospital costs. We modeled outpatient costs on the basis of discharge status to calculate the total annual cost for systemic fungal infections in 1998.
Results: For 1998, the projected average incidence was 306 per million US population, with candidiasis accounting for 75% of cases. The estimated total direct cost was $2.6 billion and the average per-patient attributable cost was $31,200. The most commonly reported comorbid diagnoses with fungal infections (HIV/AIDS, neoplasms, transplants) accounted for only 45% of all infections.
Conclusions: The cost burden is high for systemic fungal infections. Additional attention should be given to the 55% with fungal disease and other comorbid diagnoses.