Evolving Trends in the Epidemiology, Resource Utilization, and Outcomes of Pregnancy-Associated Severe Sepsis: A Population-Based Cohort Study

Lavi Oud, Phillip Watkins


Background: Infections are a well-known complication of pregnancy. However, pregnancy-associated severe sepsis (PASS) has not been as well-characterized, with limited population-level data reported to date. We performed a population-based study of the evolving patterns of the epidemiology, clinical characteristics, resource utilization, and outcomes of PASS in Texas over the past decade.

Methods: The Texas Inpatient Public Use Data File was used to identify pregnancy-associated hospitalizations and PASS hospitalizations for the years 2001 - 2010. The Texas Center for Health Statistics reports of live births, abortions and fetal deaths, and a previously reported population-based, age-specific linkage study on miscarriage were used to derive the annual total estimated pregnancies (TEPs). The incidence, demographics, clinical characteristics, resource utilization and outcomes of PASS were examined. Logistic regression modeling was used to explore the predictors of PASS and its associated mortality.

Results: There were 4,060,201 pregnancy-associated hospitalizations and 1,007 PASS hospitalizations during study period. The incidence of PASS was increased by 236% over the past decade, rising from 11 to 26 hospitalizations per 100,000 TEPs. The key changes between 2001 - 2002 and 2009 - 2010 within PASS hospitalizations included: admission to ICU 78% vs. 90% (P = 0.002); development of >= 3 organ failures 9% vs. 35% (P < 0.0001); and inflation-adjusted median hospital charges (2,010 dollars) $64,034 vs. $89,895 (P = 0.0141). Hospital mortality (11%) remained unchanged during study period. Chronic liver disease (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 41.4) and congestive heart failure (CHF) (aOR 20.5) were associated with the highest risk of PASS, in addition to black race, poverty, drug abuse, and lack of health insurance. The highest risk of death was among women with HIV infection (aOR 45.5), need for mechanical ventilation (aOR 4.5), drug abuse (aOR 3.0), and lacking health insurance (aOR 2.9).

Conclusions: The incidence, severity, and fiscal burden of PASS rose substantially over the past decade. Case fatality was lower than that for severe sepsis in the general population. Chronic liver disease and CHF pose especially high risk of PASS. Pregnant women with history of drug abuse and lacking health insurance are at high risk of both developing and dying with PASS, requiring extra vigilance for early diagnosis and targeted intervention.

J Clin Med Res. 2015;7(6):400-416
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/jocmr2118w


Intensive care unit; Mortality; Pregnancy; Resource utilization; Severe sepsis

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