Hospitalizations for children with influenza and skin infections increased in the last decade

Research Activities October 2011, No. 374

Influenza increased dramatically as a major cause of hospitalizations for children age 17 and under, climbing from 65th in 2000 in the ranking of reasons why children go to the hospital to 10th in 2009. Skin infections increased from the 13th most common condition in 2000 to 7th in 2009.

Other findings reported by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) on hospital stays for children age 17 or younger:

  • Pneumonia, asthma, and acute bronchitis were the most common conditions that required hospital care in 2009, followed by mood disorders (depression and bipolar disorder).
  • Children represented one out of every six hospital stays, and total hospital charges for children were $33.6 billion, or 9 percent of total hospital costs in 2009. About 72 percent of children in hospitals were newborns and infants under 1 year.
  • Compared with all hospitalizations in 2009, a child's average hospital stay was shorter (3.8 days vs. 4.6 days) and less expensive ($5,200 vs. $9,200).

This AHRQ News and Numbers summary is based on data from Statistical Brief #118: Hospital Stays for Children, 2009. The report uses data from the Agency's Kids' Inpatient Database and Nationwide Inpatient Sample. For information about these AHRQ databases, go to Databases and Related Tools from HCUP: Fact Sheet .

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Linwood Norman at linwood.norman@ahrq.hhs.gov or call (301) 427-1248.

Current as of October 2011
Internet Citation: Hospitalizations for children with influenza and skin infections increased in the last decade: Research Activities October 2011, No. 374. October 2011. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsletters/research-activities/oct11/1011RA26.html