Factors associated with high hospital resource use in a population-based study of children with orofacial clefts

Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol. 2015 Feb;103(2):127-43. doi: 10.1002/bdra.23356.


Background: Little is known about population-based maternal, child, and system characteristics associated with high hospital resource use for children with orofacial clefts (OFC) in the US.

Methods: This was a statewide, population-based, retrospective observational study of children with OFC born between 1998 and 2006, identified by the Florida Birth Defects Registry whose records were linked with longitudinal hospital discharge records. We stratified the descriptive results by cleft type [cleft lip with cleft palate, cleft lip, and cleft palate] and by isolated versus nonisolated OFC (accompanied by other coded major birth defects). We used Poisson regression to analyze associations between selected characteristics and high hospital resource use (≥90th percentile of estimated hospitalized days and inpatient costs) for birth, postbirth, and total hospitalizations initiated before age 2 years.

Results: Our analysis included 2,129 children with OFC. Infants who were born low birth weight (<2500 grams) were significantly more likely to have high birth hospitalization costs for CLP (adjusted prevalence ratio: 1.6 [95% confidence interval: 1.0-2.7]), CL (adjusted prevalence ratio: 3.0 [95% confidence interval: 1.1-8.1]), and CP (adjusted prevalence ratio: 2.3 [95% confidence interval: 1.3-4.0]). Presence of multiple birth defects was significantly associated with a three- to eleven-fold and a three- to nine-fold increase in the prevalence of high costs and number of hospitalized days, respectively; at birth, postbirth before age 2 years and overall hospitalizations.

Conclusion: Children with cleft palate had the greatest hospital resources use. Additionally, the presence of multiple birth defects contributed to greater inpatient days and costs for children with OFC.

Keywords: cleft lip; cleft palate; cost; health services research; hospitalization; orofacial clefts; resource use.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Abnormalities, Multiple / economics*
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / epidemiology
  • Abnormalities, Multiple / pathology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cleft Lip / economics*
  • Cleft Lip / epidemiology
  • Cleft Lip / pathology
  • Cleft Palate / economics*
  • Cleft Palate / epidemiology
  • Cleft Palate / pathology
  • Female
  • Florida / epidemiology
  • Hospitals
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight
  • Length of Stay / economics*
  • Length of Stay / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Registries*
  • Retrospective Studies