Newborn and Maternal Hospitalizations Related to Substance Abuse on the Rise, According to New AHRQ Brief
Between 2006 and 2012, the rate of newborn (neonatal) hospitalizations related to substance use increased by 71 percent, from 5.1 to 8.7 per 1,000 stays, according to a recently published statistical brief from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). HCUP data also show that the rate of maternal hospitalizations related to substance use increased by 33 percent, from 13.4 to 17.9 per 1,000 stays during that period. Total associated hospital costs for that period rose by 135 percent, from $253 to $595 million, for neonatal hospitalizations, and by 35 percent, from $258 to $349 million, for maternal hospitalizations. While the rate of maternal hospital stays for cocaine use fell by 50.5 percent, the rate of maternal hospital stays for opiate use rose by 134.7 percent. Twenty percent of neonatal stays with a substance-related condition had low birth weight, compared with 7 percent of all other neonatal stays. The brief also said that in 2012, mental disorders were indicated in 25 percent of maternal stays related to substance use, compared with 4 percent of other maternal stays. An AHRQ infographichighlights these findings.
Kathryn R. Fingar, Ph.D., M.P.H., Carol Stocks, Ph.D., R.N., Audrey J. Weiss, Ph.D., and Pamela L. Owens, Ph.D.