Prevalence, healthcare resource utilization and overall burden of fungal meningitis in the United States

Lefko T Charalambous, Alykhan Premji, Caroline Tybout, Anastasia Hunt, Drew Cutshaw, Aladine A Elsamadicy, Siyun Yang, Jichun Xie, Charles Giamberardino, Promila Pagadala, John R Perfect, Shivanand P Lad
Journal of Medical Microbiology 2018, 67 (2): 215-227

PURPOSE: Previous epidemiological and cost studies of fungal meningitis have largely focused on single pathogens, leading to a poor understanding of the disease in general. We studied the largest and most diverse group of fungal meningitis patients to date, over the longest follow-up period, to examine the broad impact on resource utilization within the United States.

METHODOLOGY: The Truven Health Analytics MarketScan database was used to identify patients with a fungal meningitis diagnosis in the United States between 2000 and 2012. Patients with a primary diagnosis of cryptococcal, Coccidioides, Histoplasma, or Candida meningitis were included in the analysis. Data concerning healthcare resource utilization, prevalence and length of stay were collected for up to 5 years following the original diagnosis.

RESULTS: Cryptococcal meningitis was the most prevalent type of fungal meningitis (70.1 % of cases over the duration of the study), followed by coccidioidomycosis (16.4 %), histoplasmosis (6.0 %) and candidiasis (7.6 %). Cryptococcal meningitis and candidiasis patients accrued the largest average charges ($103 236 and $103 803, respectively) and spent the most time in the hospital on average (70.6 and 79 days). Coccidioidomycosis and histoplasmosis patients also accrued substantial charges and time in the hospital ($82 439, 48.1 days; $78 609, 49.8 days, respectively).

CONCLUSION: Our study characterizes the largest longitudinal cohort of fungal meningitis in the United States. Importantly, the health economic impact and long-term morbidity from these infections are quantified and reviewed. The healthcare resource utilization of fungal meningitis patients in the United States is substantial.

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