Background: Streptococcus pneumoniae continues to cause a variety of common clinical syndromes, despite vaccination programs for both adults and children. The total U.S. burden of pneumococcal disease is unknown.
Methods: We constructed a decision tree-based model to estimate U.S. healthcare utilization and costs of pneumococcal disease in 2004. Data were obtained from the 2004-2005 National (Hospital) Ambulatory Medical Care Surveys (outpatient visits, antibiotics) and the National Hospital Discharge Survey (hospitalization rates), and CDC surveillance data. Other assumptions regarding the incidence of each syndrome due to pneumococcus, expected health outcomes, and healthcare utilization were derived from literature and expert opinion. Healthcare and time costs used 2007 dollars.
Results: We estimate that, in 2004, pneumococcal disease caused 4.0 million illness episodes, 22,000 deaths, 445,000 hospitalizations, 774,000 emergency department visits, 5.0 million outpatient visits, and 4.1 million outpatient antibiotic prescriptions. Direct medical costs totaled $3.5 billion. Pneumonia (866,000 cases) accounted for 22% of all cases and 72% of pneumococcal costs. In contrast, acute otitis media and sinusitis (1.5 million cases each) comprised 75% of cases but only 16% of direct medical costs. Patients ≥ 65 years old, accounted for most serious cases and the majority of direct medical costs ($1.8 billion in healthcare costs annually). In this age group, pneumonia caused 242,000 hospitalizations, 1.4 million hospital days, 194,000 emergency department visits, 374,000 outpatient visits, and 16,000 deaths. However, if work loss and productivity are considered, the cost of pneumococcal disease among younger working adults (18-<50) nearly equaled those ≥ 65.
Conclusions: Pneumococcal disease remains a substantial cause of morbidity and mortality even in the era of routine pediatric and adult vaccination. Continued efforts are warranted to reduce serious pneumococcal disease, especially adult pneumonia.
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.