Hospitalizations for cellulitis in Canada: a database study

J Cutan Med Surg. 2014 Jan-Feb;18(1):33-7. doi: 10.2310/7750.2013.13075.


Background: Cellulitis is the skin disease most commonly responsible for emergency department visits and inpatient admissions.

Objective: To determine factors associated with prolonged admissions and mortality in inpatients with cellulitis.

Methods: Data on patients with an admission diagnosis of cellulitis from 2004 to 2008 in the Canadian Discharge Abstract Database were analyzed. Factors associated with mortality and prolonged hospital stay (> 7 days) were analyzed in univariate and multivariate analysis through logistic regression.

Results: During the study period, 65,454 patients were hospitalized for cellulitis. Factors associated with prolonged admission included admission to or consultation by a surgical service (OR 2.30, 95% CI 2.17-2.43) and dermatology consultation (OR 4.50, 95% CI 3.92-5.17). Factors associated with mortality included surgical (OR 1.35, 95% CI 1.03-1.76) or infectious disease (OR 1.75, 95% CI 1.39-2.21) consultation.

Conclusion: Misdiagnosis of cellulitis, suggested by the use of consulting services, may play a role in the morbidity and mortality of cellulitis patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cellulitis / epidemiology*
  • Cellulitis / mortality
  • Female
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies