Mortality rates among cystic fibrosis (CF) patients in the United States have significantly decreased during the past decade, but hospitalizations and in-hospital deaths seem to be on the rise, according to the results of a new study.
“The population prevalence of CF has been increasing despite fairly stable incidence due to longer survival as a result of improved quality of care,” the researchers wrote. “Based on the data from CF Foundation Patient Registry (CFFPR), the number of people with CF in the U.S. increased from 21,488 in 2003 to 28,134 in 2013. During the same period, the number of newly diagnosed individuals per year remained fairly stable (1,044 in 2003 and 1,039 in 2013).”
The number of CF patients hospitalized each year is estimated to increase as the number of patients does. What is not known are the factors that affect the outcomes of hospitalized patients, the prevalence of other health conditions, and the outcomes of patients with a history of lung transplant.
In an attempt to understand trends among CF patients in the United States, researchers analyzed data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) on people hospitalized from 2003 to 2013. They also examined the records of patients who developed other health conditions, such as acute kidney disease (AKI) or chronic liver disease, and of lung transplant recipients.
The analysis revealed that the annual hospitalization rate per 1,000 CF patients increased from 994 in 2003 to 1,072 in 2013, and the median hospital stay was one week. Overall in-hospital mortality was 1.5%; it had declined from 1.9% in 2003 to 1.2% in 2013. Patients’ median age at time of death was 27.
Researchers also found that the prevalence of chronic liver disease and AKI among hospitalized CF patients was 3.7% and 3.8%, respectively. In total, 6.5% of the patients had received a lung transplant, and AKI was prevalent among them.
Lastly, they noticed that women with CF were hospitalized more than men, despite more men in the community having the disease.
“These results should be helpful for developing guidelines to improve quality of inpatient care, decreasing (health) complications, providing valuable prognostic information, and identifying new challenges in the management of the increasing population of individuals with cystic fibrosis,” the team concluded.