Prevalence, comorbidities and mortality of toxic shock syndrome in children and adults in the USA

Mark A. Strom, Derek Y. Hsu, Jonathan I. Silverberg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), a superantigen-mediated illness, is characterized by rash, hypotension and multi-organ dysfunction. Predictors of TSS and related morbidity and mortality are poorly defined. In this study, data on 61,959,084 hospitalizations from the 2003–2012 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a 20% stratified sample of US hospitalizations, were analyzed and ICD-9-CM coding used to identify 4491 hospitalizations with a diagnosis of TSS. Incidence, in-hospital mortality rate, comorbidities, length of stay and costs of care attributable to TSS were determined. In multivariate survey logistic regression models, TSS was associated with female sex (adjusted odds ratio [95% confidence interval], 1.54 [1.48–1.60]), younger age (0–17 years, 2.17 [2.06–2.29]; 40–59: 0.53 [0.50–0.56]; 60–79: 0.28 [0.26–0.30]; 80+: 0.13 [0.11–0.14] compared with 18–39) and race/ethnicity (black, 0.63 [0.59–0.67]; Hispanic: 0.60 [0.56–0.64]; Asian, 1.11 [1.00–1.11]; and other, 0.83 [0.75–0.92] compared with white). Patients with TSS had a three-fold greater cost of care (mean: $36,656 ± 942) and length of stay (LOS) (mean: 10.65 ± 0.23 days) than patients without TSS. Shared predictors of increased LOS and costs in patients with TSS were male sex; age 40–79 years; Black, Hispanic, Asian and other race/ethnicity; and more than one chronic condition. Predictors of in-hospital mortality included respiratory failure (13.66 [11.37–16.43]), liver disease/failure (3.36 [2.59–4.34]), chickenpox (91.26 [27.74–300.25]), coagulopathy (2.14 [1.85–2.48]), and higher age. In conclusion, there are significant racial/ethnic, socioeconomic, and comorbid disparities in the incidence and mortality of TSS in adults and children in the USA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)463-473
Number of pages11
JournalMicrobiology and Immunology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2017


  • comorbidity
  • epidemiology
  • healthcare burden
  • toxic shock syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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