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News From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
February 28, 2017

Hospital Costs for Birth Defects Reach Tens of Billions

JAMA. 2017;317(8):799. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.0551

The cost of hospitalizations related to birth defects reached $22.9 billion in 2013, accounting for 3% of all hospitalizations and 5% of total hospital costs.

In their analysis of nonfederal hospital data, CDC researchers reported on costs for people of all ages whose discharge diagnosis included a birth defect code. Costs for infants were highest—$9 billion, or 35% of hospitalizations of all children younger than 1 year. Among children aged 1 to 5 years, costs totaled $1.5 billion, or about 7% of all hospitalizations related to birth defects. The median cost was lowest among infants—$2126—and highest among patients aged 65 years or older—$13 270.

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