Journal Article

Outcomes Attributable to Neonatal Candidiasis

Theoklis E. Zaoutis, Kateri Heydon, Russell Localio, Thomas J. Walsh and Chris Feudtner

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 44, issue 9, pages 1187-1193
Published in print May 2007 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online May 2007 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Outcomes Attributable to Neonatal Candidiasis

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  • Infectious Diseases
  • Immunology
  • Public Health and Epidemiology
  • Microbiology


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Background. The incidence of candidiasis has increased in neonatal intensive care units, and invasive candidiasis is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. However, few data exist on outcomes directly attributable to neonatal candidiasis.

Methods. We estimated the incidence of systemic candidiasis in hospitalized neonates within the United States and determined the attributable mortality, length of hospital stay, and associated costs. We used the 2003 Kid's Inpatient Database from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. Systemic candidiasis and comorbidities were defined by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification codes. Neonates with uncomplicated births and neonates who died within the first 3 days of life were excluded. We used propensity score methods to balance covariates between the neonates with and neonates without candidiasis. Attributable outcomes were calculated between propensity score—matched neonates with and neonates without candidiasis. Because of the known confounding effect of birth weight, we performed separate propensity score analyses for extremely low birth weight (ELBW) neonates (i.e., neonates weighing <1000 g).

Results. The overall incidence of invasive candidiasis in neonates is 15 cases per 10,000 neonatal admissions (95% confidence interval [CI], 13–16 cases per 10,000 neonatal admissions). ELBW neonates with invasive candidiasis were 2 times more likely to die (odds ratio, 2.2; 95% CI, 1.4–3.5) than propensity-matched ELBW neonates without candidiasis. The propensity score—adjusted mortality rate attributable to candidiasis among ELBW neonates was 11.9%. Candidiasis in ELBW infants was not associated with an increase in length of hospital stay but was associated with a mean increase in total charges of $39,045 (95% CI, $1374–$76,715). Among infants with a birth weight ⩾1000 g, those who had candidiasis did not experience a significant increase in mortality, compared with infants without candidiasis. However, the propensity score—adjusted length of stay and charges attributable to candidiasis among neonates with a birth weight ⩾1000 g were 16 days (95% CI, 8–24 days) and $122,302 (95% CI, $80,457–$164,148), respectively.

Conclusions. Invasive candidiasis is associated with a significantly increased risk of death and excess hospital charges in ELBW neonates and with excess hospital stay and excess hospital charges in neonates with a birth weight ⩾1000 g.

Journal Article.  4017 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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