Pediatric pancreatitis associated with repeat hospitalizations, high costs

Pediatric pancreatitis contributes to high healthcare costs and recurrent hospitalizations.
Pediatric pancreatitis contributes to high healthcare costs and recurrent hospitalizations.

Recurrent acute and chronic pediatric pancreatitis is associated with a high rate of repeat hospitalizations and associated costs, according to 2 studies published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition.

After their first pancreatitis attack, 42% of children had repeat hospitalizations. Patients with recurrent acute or chronic pediatric pancreatitis accrue annual healthcare costs of approximately $40,000 per person.

The first study used a national health database to determine hospitalization rates for pediatric pancreatitis. Between 2002 and 2014, 10,650 children and adolescents were hospitalized for acute pancreatitis. During that same time, about 4,500 (42%) of these patients had repeat hospital admissions for recurrent pancreatitis.

The children who had repeat hospitalizations had, in total, almost 16,000 hospitalizations among them, with a median of 2 per child. Younger children and children who had a more severe initial pancreatitis episode had a higher risk of repeat hospitalizations for acute recurrent pancreatitis.

The second study focused on hospital-related costs, using a cohort of 224 children with acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis from the INSPPIRE group. Of these children, 42% had chronic pancreatitis.

The researchers found that the mean number of hospitalizations per patient per year was 2.3, accounting for an average annual healthcare cost of approximately $38,755 per patient. Factoring in the cost of medications increased this amount – annual medication costs per patient were $4,114 for pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, $1,761 for diabetic medications, and $614 for pain medications.

Children who had more frequent pancreatitis attacks, constant or recurring pain, a family history of pancreatic cancer, and a need for pain medications were more likely to have higher associated costs.

References

  1. Pant C, Sferra TJ, Lee BR, et al. Acute Recurrent Pancreatitis in Children: a Study from the PEDIATRIC Health Information System. J Pediatr Gastr Nutr. Published online ahead of print. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001058.
  2. Ting J, Wilson L, Schwarzenberg SJ, et al. Direct Costs of Acute Recurrent and Chronic Pancreatitis in Children in the INSPPIRE Registry. J Pediatr Gastr Nutr. Published online ahead of print. doi:10.1097/MPG.0000000000001057
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