NYMC Faculty Publications

Predictive Risk Factors for Childbirth-Associated Breast Infections in the United States: A 10-Year Perspective

Author Type(s)

Student, Faculty

Journal Title

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Document Type


Publication Date





Infectious mastitis is a common condition that affects up to 33% of lactating women. Several risk factors have been suggested to be strongly associated with breast abscess, nipple infection, and non-purulent mastitis associated with childbirth. In this retrospective cohort study, we gathered data from the National Inpatient Sample (NIS) between 2005 and 2014 and utilized data stratification and backward linear regression to analyze the predictive factors associated with patients hospitalized with breast infection after childbirth, with special consideration of risk factors affecting hospital length of stay (LOS). In the ten-year period, 4614 women were hospitalized with a primary diagnosis of breast abscess, nipple infection, or non-purulent mastitis associated with childbirth. Mean (SD) age was 26.75 (6) years. The highest frequency distribution of cases was observed in patients aged 22-30 years (49.82%). Mean (SD) LOS was 2.83 (1.95) days. Mean (SD) LOS in patients with procedure was 3.53 (2.47) days, which was significantly longer than that in those with no procedure (2.39 (1.36) days, < 0.001). Primary diagnosis of breast abscess and occurrence of a hospital procedure were most significantly associated with prolonged LOS. Factors such as age, socioeconomic position, severity of functional loss, as well as comorbidities were also contributing risk factors to the development of breast infection and increased hospital LOS. Further studies should examine these findings, as they relate to breastfeeding practices and concentrate on establishing best practices for risk reduction and prevention of childbirth-associated breast and nipple infections and hospitalizations.