Cryptorchidism and Hypospadias

Published in: The Journal of Urology, v. 177, no. 5, May 2007, p. 1646-1651

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2007

by Hans G. Pohl, Geoffrey F. Joyce, Matthew Wise, Bartley G. Cilento, Jr.

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PURPOSE: The authors quantified the burden of cryptorchidism and hypospadias in the United States by identifying trends in the use of health care resources and estimating the economic impact of the disease. MATERIALS AND METHODS: The analytical methods used to generate these results were described previously. RESULTS: Cryptorchidism is managed almost exclusively in the outpatient setting and insufficient data were available on inpatient health care use. Annual inpatient hospitalizations for hypospadias decreased by 75% between 1994 and 2000 from 2,669 (2.2/100,000 children) to 849 (0.6/100,000). Between 1992 and 2000 there were 611,647 physician office visits (96/100,000 per year) with undescended testis listed as the primary diagnosis. The rate of physician office visits for hypospadias by commercially insured boys younger than 3 years increased significantly from 429/100,000 in 1994 to 655/100,000 in 2002. The annualized rate of 18/100,000 in 1994 to 1996 remained relatively constant during these 3 years. Orchiopexy rates were highest in 0 to 2-year-old children, as generally recommended, but a substantial minority of these procedures was done in 3 to 10-year-old children. Geographic variation was noted with higher ambulatory surgery rates in the Northeast and Midwest than in the South and West. Data on commercially insured boys younger than 3 years revealed a 1.5-fold overall increase in the rate of hypospadias surgery from 321/100,000 in 1994 to 468/100,000 in 2002, reflecting the known increase in hypospadias incidence in the United States during the late 1990s. CONCLUSIONS: Average cost per hospitalization for hypospadias exceeded $5,389 with costs per case higher in children 3 years or older, although there were more cases in children younger than 3 years. The cost per case of hypospadias was higher in the Northeast and South than in the other regions. Data on cryptorchidism are too sparse to provide insights into its downstream economic costs.

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