The clinical and economic burden of communityonset complicated skin and skin structure infections in Korea

Yong Kyun Cho, Heung Jeong Woo, Shin Woo Kim, In Gyu Bae, Young Goo Song, Hee Jin Cheong, Hyuck Lee, Sang Hoon Han, Hee Jung Choi, Chisook Moon, Seong Yeol Ryu, Jian Hur, Ja Cob Lee, Yu Mi Jo, Young Joo Kim

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Background/Aims: To investigate epidemiologic characteristics, clinical and economic burdens, and factors associated with mortality in complicated skin and skin structure infection (cSSSI) patients in Korea. Methods: A retrospective, observational, nationwide study was conducted between April to July 2012 at 14 tertiary-hospitals in Korea. Eligible patients were hospitalized adults with community acquired cSSSI, who underwent surgical intervention and completed treatment between November 2009 and October 2011. Data on demography, clinical characteristics, outcomes and medical resource utilization were collected through medical record review. Direct medical costs were calculated by multiplying quantities of resources utilized by each unit price in Korea. Results: Of 473 patients enrolled, 449 patients (except 24 patients with no record on surgical intervention) were eligible for analysis. Microbiological testing was performed on 66.1% of patients and 8.2% had multiple pathogens. Among culture confirmed pathogens (n = 297 patients, 340 episodes), 76.2% were gram-positive (Staphylococcus aureus; 41.2%) and 23.8% were gram-negative. The median duration of hospital stay was 16 days. Among treated patients, 3.3% experienced recurrence and 4.2% died in-hospital. The mean direct medical costs amounted to $4,195/ person, with the greatest expenses for hospitalization and antibiotics. The in-hospital mortality and total medical costs were higher in combined antibiotics therapy than monotherapy (p < 0.05). Charlson’s comorbidity index ≥ 3, standardized early warning scoring ≥ 4, sub-fascia infections and combined initial therapy, were all found to be associated with higher mortality. Conclusions: Korean patients with community-onset cSSSI suffer from considerable clinical and economic burden. Efforts should be made to reduce this burden through appropriate initial treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1497-1506
Number of pages10
JournalKorean Journal of Internal Medicine
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Korean Association of Internal Medicine.


  • Clinical burden
  • Complicated skin and skin structure infection
  • Economic
  • Initial antibiotics


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