Study objectives: Despite curative therapy, mortality remains high for hospitalized patients with tuberculosis (TB) in the United States. The purpose of this study was to describe the characteristics of hospitalized patients with TB and to identify patient characteristics associated with in-hospital mortality.
Design, setting, and patients: Using the 2000 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, representing 20% of US hospital admissions, we identified 2,279 hospital admissions with a primary diagnosis of TB (International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, codes, 010.xx to 018.xx).
Measurements and results: Mortality was the main outcome measure. Logistic regression analyses were performed including age, gender, race, insurance status, income, Deyo-adapted Charlson comorbidity index (DCI), HIV status, hospital admission source, and hospital characteristics as explanatory variables. A disproportionate number of patients hospitalized with TB were men (64%), nonwhite (72%), lived in areas with median incomes of < $35,000 (50%), and had publicly funded health insurance (49%) or no health insurance (17%). The mortality rate for patients hospitalized for TB was greater than that for non-TB hospital admissions (4.9% vs 2.4%, respectively; p < 0.001). Patients with TB who died during hospitalization were older (mean age, 65.1 vs 49.4 years, respectively; p < 0.001), had greater comorbid illness (DCI, 1.1 vs 0.55, respectively; p < 0.001), required longer hospitalizations (19.9 vs 13.9 days, respectively; p < 0.001), and accumulated substantially higher charges ($79,585 vs $31,610, respectively; p < 0.001) than did patients with TB who were alive at hospital discharge. In a multivariable analysis, older age, comorbid illnesses, and emergency department admissions were independently associated with mortality. The total charges for TB hospitalizations in the United States in 2000 exceeded $385 million.
Conclusions: Despite public health efforts, patients who are hospitalized with TB are frequently admitted through emergency care settings, have a high risk of in-hospital mortality, and incur substantial hospital charges. To improve TB health outcomes, more vigorous clinical management and prevention strategies should especially target older patients and those with comorbid medical conditions.