Pediatric pancreatitis associated with repeat hospitalizations, high costs
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.
- 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.
- 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