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Volume 9, Number 2—February 2003

Research

Health and Economic Impact of Surgical Site Infections Diagnosed after Hospital Discharge

Eli N. Perencevich*†Comments to Author , Kenneth E. Sands*†, Sara E. Cosgrove*, Edward Guadagnoli‡, Ellen Meara‡, and Richard Platt§†‡
Author affiliations: *Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; †Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Eastern Massachusetts Prevention Epicenter, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; ‡Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA; §Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Main Article

Table 1

Descriptive characteristics of cohort in study of surgical site infections (SSI), Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, 1997–1998a

Characteristic Case-patients
N (% or SDa) Controls
N (% or SDa) p value
Study cohort N=267
89
178

Demographics of complete cohort
Age (yr)
55.8 (+/-14.6)
57.5 (+/-13.3)
0.33b
Male gender
43 (48.3)
94 (52.8)
0.52c
Surgery duration (min)
177 (+/-112)
137 (+/-74)
0.037d
Chronic disease score
3,058 (+/-2636)
2,148 (+/-2285)
0.005d
Surgery location (inpatient)
73 (82)
149 (83.7)
1.0c
Surgery type



Cardiac
26 (29.2)
53 (29.8)
1.0c
General
25 (28.1)
53 (29.8)
0.89c
Gynecology
2 (2.3)
4 (2.3)
1.0c
Neurology
4 (4.5)
8 (4.5)
1.0c
Orthopedic
15 (16.9)
32 (18)
0.87c
Other
2 (2.3)
3 (1.7)
1.0c
Plastic
5 (5.6)
6 (3.4)
0.51c
Urology
3 (3.4)
6 (3.4)
1.0c
Vascular
7 (7.9)
13 (7.3)
1.0c
Description of questionnaire responders
Responder N=173 (65%)
50 (56.2)
123 (69.1)
0.042c
Age (yr)
57.3 (+/-13.7)
58.6 (+/-12.4)
0.54b
Male gender
25 (50)
69 (56.1)
0.50c
Surgery duration (min)
185 (+/-142)
144 (+/-81)
0.19d
Surgery type



Cardiac
16 (32)
39 (31.7)
1.0c
General
18 (36.0)
35 (28.5)
0.37c
Gynecology
1 (2.0)
3 (2.4)
1.0c
Neurology
1 (2.0)
6 (4.9)
0.67c
Orthopedic
7 (14.0)
23 (18.7)
0.51c
Other
1 (2.0)
0 (0.0)
0.29c
Plastic
2 (4.0)
3 (2.4)
0.63c
Urology
1 (2.0)
4 (3.3)
1.0c
Vascular
3 (6.0)
10 (8.1)
0.76c
Occupation (could check >1)



Employed
26.6%
30.8%
0.61c
Homemaker
29.8%
28.2%
0.85c
Retired
42.9%
61.5%
0.07c
Student
2.1%
2.5%
1.0c
Preexisting medical conditionse



Congestive heart failure
12.2%
2.5%
0.018c
Diabetes
24.5%
11.5%
0.057c
Arthritis 38.8% 21.5% 0.034c

aResults are shown as no. (%) or mean +/- standard deviation, along with p value for comparison of cases with SSIs to controls without SSIs.

bStudent t test.

cFisher exact test.

dWilcoxon rank-sum test.

eThirteen additional preexisting conditions were assessed, including chronic lung disease, vision or hearing impairment, asthma, peptic ulcer disease, chronic back pain, hypertension, angina, myocardial infarction, stroke, kidney disease, and cancer; all were not significantly different between cases and controls with p>0.05.

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