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Open Access Research article

Hospital days, hospitalization costs, and inpatient mortality among patients with mucormycosis: a retrospective analysis of US hospital discharge data

Marya D Zilberberg12, Andrew F Shorr3, Huan Huang4, Paresh Chaudhari5, Victoria Federico Paly4 and Joseph Menzin4*

Author Affiliations

1 EviMed Research Group, LLC, Goshen, MA, USA

2 School of Public Health and Health Sciences, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA, USA

3 Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC, USA

4 Boston Health Economics, Inc., Waltham, MA, USA

5 Astellas Scientific and Medical Affairs, Inc., Northbrook, IL, USA

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BMC Infectious Diseases 2014, 14:310  doi:10.1186/1471-2334-14-310

Published: 5 June 2014



Mucormycosis is a rare and potentially fatal fungal infection occurring primarily in severely immunosuppressed patients. Because it is so rare, reports in the literature are mainly limited to case reports or small case series. The aim of this study was to evaluate inpatient mortality, length of stay (LOS), and costs among a matched sample of high-risk patients with and without mucormycosis in a large nationally representative database.


We conducted a retrospective analysis using the 2003–2010 Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project – Nationwide Inpatient Sample (HCUP-NIS). The NIS is a nationally representative 20% sample of hospitalizations from acute care United States (US) hospitals, with survey weights available to compute national estimates. We classified hospitalizations into four mutually exclusive risk categories for mucormycosis: A- severely immunocompromised, B- critically ill, C- mildly/moderately immunocompromised, D- major surgery or pneumonia. Mucormycosis hospitalizations (“cases”) were identified by ICD-9-CM code 117.7. Non-mucormycosis hospitalizations (“non-cases”) were propensity-score matched to cases 3:1. We examined demographics, clinical characteristics, and hospital outcomes (mortality, LOS, costs). Weighted results were reported.


From 319,366,817 total hospitalizations, 5,346 cases were matched to 15,999 non-cases. Cases and non-cases did not differ significantly in age (49.6 vs. 49.7 years), female sex (40.5% vs. 41.0%), White race (53.3% vs. 55.9%) or high-risk group (A-49.1% vs. 49.0%, B-20.0% vs. 21.8%, C-25.5% vs. 23.8%, D-5.5% vs. 5.4%). Cases experienced significantly higher mortality (22.1% vs. 4.4%, P < 0.001), with mean LOS and total costs more than 3-fold higher (24.5 vs. 8.0 days and $90,272 vs. $25,746; both P < 0.001).


In a national hospital database, hospitalizations with mucormycosis had significantly higher inpatient mortality, LOS, and hospital costs than matched hospitalizations without mucormycosis. Findings suggest that interventions to prevent or more effectively treat mucormycosis are needed.

Mucormycosis; Costs; Mortality; Fungal infections