Sickle cell disease-related pediatric medical expenditures in the U.S

Am J Prev Med. 2010 Apr;38(4 Suppl):S550-6. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2010.01.004.


Background: Although it is known that people with sickle cell disease (SCD) have relatively high utilization of medical care, most previous estimates of SCD-attributable expenditures have been limited to either inpatient care or single-state data.

Purpose: To extend known findings by measuring the attributable or incremental expenditures per child with SCD compared to children without this illness and to thereby estimate SCD-attributable expenditures among children in the U.S.

Methods: MarketScan Medicaid and Commercial Claims databases for 2005 were used to estimate total medical expenditures of children with and without SCD. Expenditures attributable to SCD were calculated as the difference in age-adjusted mean expenditures during 2005 for children with SCD relative to children without SCD in the two databases.

Results: Children with SCD incurred medical expenditures that were $9369 and $13,469 higher than those of children without SCD enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance, respectively. In other words, expenditures of children with SCD were 6 and 11 times those of children without SCD enrolled in Medicaid and private insurance, respectively.

Conclusions: Using a large, multistate, multipayer patient sample, SCD-attributable medical expenditures in children were conservatively and approximately estimated at $335 million in 2005.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / economics*
  • Anemia, Sickle Cell / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost of Illness
  • Female
  • Health Expenditures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Hospitalization / economics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • International Classification of Diseases
  • Male
  • Medicaid
  • United States / epidemiology