Chagas Heart Disease in the United States: A National Study From 2003-217

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Journal of the American College of Cardiology





Chagas heart disease (CHD) is caused by Trypanosoma cruzi infection that can cause myopericarditis as well as chronic fibrosing myocarditis resulting in a dilated cardiomyopathy with several complications. It is the most common cause of non-ischemic cardiomyopathy in Latin America. Demographic data in the United States are limited.


We used U.S. Nationwide Inpatient Sample databases 2003 through 2017, and with appropriate ICD-9 and ICD 10 codes, we identified adult patients with a primary or secondary diagnosis of Chagas disease and CHD.


A total of 2,978 hospitalizations were identified with a diagnosis of Chagas disease, of which, CHD presents in 74.73% (2,230) of cases (mean age 56.75±14.38 years, 51.31% women, 75.83% Hispanic). It is most prevalent in West Coast (36.51%), large (64.49%), teaching (84.58%) hospitals. Congestive heart failure (64.21%) (CHF) was the most common cardiac complication. In patients with CHD, cardiac arrhythmias (CAR) were present in 41.81%, conduction abnormalities in 12.43%, embolic stroke was present in 0.84% of patients, cardiac devices were implanted in 4.65% of the hospitalizations (Table 1). Median length-of-stay was 8.12 days, median hospital cost was 27,596.72 USD and all-cause mortality was 2.67%.


Hospitalizations for CHD are rare in the US and were more frequent in the west coast states. CHD patients have a significant burden of CHF and CAR.