J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 2012 Jan;21(1):61-7. Epub 2010 Jun 17.
An evidenced-based approach to detecting and treating dysphagia needs to be informed by the costs and risks associated with pneumonia. In this study, the cost of pneumonia during hospitalization after stroke and the effect of pneumonia on mortality were estimated. The effect of pneumonia on mortality and costs for different levels of risk were analyzed as well. The data come from the 2005 and 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample. Regression models, including the propensity for pneumonia, were used to estimate the in-hospital mortality-associated pneumonia, as well as the marginal cost of pneumonia on the hospitalization. A stratified analysis based on quintile of propensity for pneumonia was also undertaken. There were 183,976 hospitalizations for stroke in the sample. The adjusted relative risk of death associated with pneumonia was 2.0 (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.9-2.1). The average marginal cost of pneumonia on the hospitalization was $27,633 (95% CI, $27,078-$27,988). The quintile of hospitalizations with the highest propensity for pneumonia had the highest average marginal cost associated with pneumonia and the lowest adjusted relative risk of death. There was an inverse relationship between adjusted relative risk of death and propensity for pneumonia. The data indicate that pneumonia after stroke is associated with higher mortality and hospitalization costs. Patients with the lowest risk for pneumonia have the highest risk for death associated with pneumonia. Screening is important at all levels of risk.