Background: Data on the economic burden of hospital-acquired lower respiratory tract infection (LRTI) among high risk hospitalized patients are lacking in China. This study aims to fill this knowledge gap. Methods: We used a prospective matched cohort design, comparing patients with LRTIs and 1:1 matched patients without LRTIs. Study period was from January 2013 to December 2015 analyzing inpatients from high risk wards – intensive care unit (ICU), dialysis, hematology, etc. – in a tertiary hospital. Hospital information system and hospital infection surveillance system were applied to extract necessary information. The primary outcome was incidence of hospital-acquired LRTIs, and the secondary was economic burden outcomes, including incremental medical costs and prolonged length of stay (LOS). Wilcoxon's signed rank test was used to explore the differences in the economic burden. Results: Among 5990 hospital visitors over the period of time, 895 (14.94%) had hospital-acquired LRTIs. We analyzed 340 patients with LRTIs and 340 respective controls without infections. The median hospital costs for patients with ICU-acquired LRTIs were significantly higher than those without LRTIs in other wards ($12,301.17 vs. $4674.64, P < 0.01). The average attributable cost per patient was $2853.93 ($6916.48 vs. $4062.55, P < 0.01). Patients from hematology department had the longest LOS, at 15 days (25 days vs. 10 days, P < 0.01). An LRTI led to an attributable increase in LOS by 8 days on average (P < 0.01). Western medicine, treatment and laboratory test were the dominant contributors to the growth in overall medical costs in hospital-acquired LRTIs. Conclusions: Hospital-acquired LRTI imposed considerable economic burden on patients hospitalized in high risk wards in China. This study provides the first data for economic evaluation of LRTI, highlighting the urgent need to establish targeted preventive strategies to minimize the occurrence of this complication to reduce economic burden.
Yan, T., Li, Y., Sun, Y., Wang, H., Wang, J., Wang, W., … Wang, S. (2018). Hospital-acquired lower respiratory tract infections among high risk hospitalized patients in a tertiary care teaching hospital in China: An economic burden analysis. Journal of Infection and Public Health, 11(4), 507–513. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jiph.2017.10.003