Infections are currently the most common diagnoses among systemic sclerosis (SSc) hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths, according to a recent study. This emphasizes the importance of being vigilant in prevention and early treatment of infections in SSc patients. Researchers used the National Inpatient Sample (2012–13) to identify adult hospitalizations with SSc, excluding patients with concomitant diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and systemic lupus. They calculated rates of hospitalization, in-hospital mortality, length of stay (LOS), and hospital costs. Findings include:
- There were 9,731 hospitalizations in the sample representing an estimated 48,655 hospitalizations nationwide with SSc (0.09%), and the inpatient mortality rate was 5%.
- Patients were predominantly older (mean age 63.2 years), female (82.2%), and Caucasian (71.5%).
- Infections were the most common primary diagnoses among SSc hospitalizations (17.4%) and among those who died (32.7%).
- Acute renal failure and aspiration were strongly associated with in-hospital mortality.
- The median LOS was 4 days, and the median cost was $8,885.
Poudel DR, George M, Dhital R, Karmacharya P, Sandorfi N, Derk CT. Mortality, length of stay and cost of hospitalization among patients with systemic sclerosis: Results from the National Inpatient Sample. [Published online ahead of print June 2, 2018]. Rheumatology (Oxford). doi:10.1093/rheumatology/key150.