Respiratory disorders most common cause of childhood hospitalization



The three most common causes of nonneonatal and nonmaternal hospitalization in 2012 for children under 18 years were all respiratory disorders, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

Pneumonia was the most common cause of hospitalization in children, with stays occurring at a rate of 169/100,000 population. There was very little difference in the rate between pneumonia and the next two most common diagnoses, acute bronchitis and asthma, which occurred at a rate of 168/100,000 and 167/100,000, respectively.

Mood disorders were the most common nonrespiratory and nonmaternal hospitalization diagnosis, with a hospital admission incidence of 144/100,000 population. This was followed by appendicitis (97/100,000), epilepsy and convulsions (95/100,000), and skin and subcutaneous tissue infections (80/100,000). The overall rate of hospitalization in children under age 18 years for nonneonatal and nonmaternal diagnoses was just over 2,500/100,000.

The incidence of six of the seven most common causes of hospitalization, and all but 1 of the 24 reported diagnostic categories, either decreased or remained steady from 2000 to 2012. Only skin and subcutaneous tissue conditions saw a significant increase in that time period. “Understanding the reasons why children are hospitalized and examining trends over time is critical to inform clinical practice and health policy,” the researchers commented.

The AHRQ report used data collected by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids’ Inpatient Database.

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