Background: Few data exist on prevalence, morbidity, and mortality of pediatric heart failure hospitalizations. We tested the hypotheses that pediatric heart failure-related hospitalizations increased over time but that mortality decreased. Factors associated with mortality and length of stay were also assessed.
Methods and results: A retrospective analysis of the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database was performed for pediatric (age ≤18 years) heart failure-related hospitalizations for the years 1997, 2000, 2003, and 2006. Hospitalizations did not significantly increase over time, ranging from 11,153 (95% confidence interval [CI] 8,898-13,409) in 2003 to 13,892 (95% CI 11,528-16,256) in 2006. Hospital length of stay increased from 1997 (mean 13.8 days, 95% CI 12.5-15.2) to 2006 (mean 19.4 days, 95% CI 18.2 to 20.6). Hospital mortality was 7.3% (95% CI 6.9-8.0) and did not vary significantly between years; however, risk-adjusted mortality was less in 2006 (odds ratio 0.70, 95% CI 0.61 to 0.80). The greatest risk of mortality occurred with extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, acute renal failure, and sepsis.
Conclusions: Heart failure-related hospitalizations occur in 11,000-14,000 children annually in the United States, with an overall mortality of 7%. Many comorbid conditions influenced hospital mortality.
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