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OBJECTIVE: To examine the association between socioeconomic status and length of hospital stay for vaso-occlusive crises in children with sickle cell disease. METHODS: 19,174 discharges (aged 1-20 years), with a primary diagnosis of sickle cell disease with crisis were analyzed from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kid Inpatient Database 2000. Socioeconomic status was assessed using an area-based measure, median household income by ZIP code and an individual-level measure, insurance status. We adjusted for age, gender, hospital location/teaching status, presence of pneumonia, number of diagnoses on record and number of procedures performed. Negative binomial regression models using generalized estimating equations (GEE) were used to assess length of stay. RESULTS: Socioeconomic status as measured by income was not associated with length of stay (incidence rate ratio (highest versus lowest category) = 1.04 (95% CI: 0.98, 1.11)). In contrast, socioeconomic status as measured by insurance was associated with length of stay [adjusted incidence rate ratio = 1.04 (95% CI: 1.01, 1.08)), although the magnitude of this difference is small and not likely to be clinically important. CONCLUSIONS: We found no evidence to suggest that socioeconomic status has any clinically important effect on length of hospital stay in children with vaso-occlusive crises in sickle cell disease.