Increase in Infection Incidence With Cardiac Device Implants

Increase from 2004 to 2008 coincided with an increase in major comorbidities

THURSDAY, Sept. 1 (HealthDay News) -- The incidence of infection in patients with cardiac implantable electrophysiological devices (CIEDs) remained constant from 1993 to 2004, and increased from 2004 to 2008, according to a study published in the Aug. 30 issue of the Journal of American College of Cardiology.

Arnold J. Greenspon, M.D., from the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, and colleagues assessed the infection burden associated with the implantation of CIEDs from 1993 to 2008. The Nationwide Inpatient Sample (NIS) discharge records were assessed based on the 9th Revision of the International Classification of Disease (ICD-9-CM). CIED infection, defined as either a code for device-related infection (996.61) and any CIED procedure or removal code, or CIED procedure code with systemic infection, was recorded. Codes for renal failure, heart failure, respiratory failure, and diabetes mellitus were used to evaluate patient health profiles. Using linear regression, changes over time were studied for infection burden and patient health profile and calculated for each year.

The investigators found that the incidence of CIED infection was 1.61 percent during the study period. Up to 2004, the annual rate of infections remained constant, after which there was a considerable increase. This coincided with an increase in the incidence of major comorbidities, and correlated with increased mortality, and in-hospital charges.

"The infection burden associated with CIED implantation is increasing over time and is associated with prolonged hospital stays and high financial costs," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties with the pharmaceutical industry.

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