Demographic and Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Fungal Infection Risk, United States, 2019

Emerg Infect Dis. 2022 Oct;28(10):1955-1969. doi: 10.3201/eid2810.220391.


Fungal infections cause substantial rates of illness and death. Interest in the association between demographic factors and fungal infections is increasing. We analyzed 2019 US hospital discharge data to assess factors associated with fungal infection diagnosis, including race and ethnicity and socioeconomic status. We found male patients were 1.5–3.5 times more likely to have invasive fungal infections diagnosed than were female patients. Compared with hospitalizations of non-Hispanic White patients, Black, Hispanic, and Native American patients had 1.4–5.9 times the rates of cryptococcosis, pneumocystosis, and coccidioidomycosis. Hospitalizations associated with lower-income areas had increased rates of all fungal infections, except aspergillosis. Compared with younger patients, fungal infection diagnosis rates, particularly for candidiasis, were elevated among persons >65 years of age. Our findings suggest that differences in fungal infection diagnostic rates are associated with demographic and socioeconomic factors and highlight an ongoing need for increased physician evaluation of risk for fungal infections.

Keywords: Fungi; United States; health care costs; healthcare disparities; minority health; mycoses; social class; socioeconomic factors.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Health Status Disparities*
  • Healthcare Disparities
  • Humans
  • Mycoses* / epidemiology
  • Social Class
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • United States / epidemiology