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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

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2017 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

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.