Children's hospitalizations with a mood disorder diagnosis in general hospitals in the united states 2000-2006

Tamar Lasky, Aliza Krieger, Anne Elixhauser, Benedetto Vitiello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Background: Mood disorders including depression and bipolar disorders are a major cause of morbidity in childhood and adolescence, and hospitalizations for mood disorders are the leading diagnosis for all hospitalizations in general hospitals for children age 13 to 17. We describe characteristics of these hospitalizations in the U.S. focusing on duration of stay, charges, and geographic variation.Methods: The Kids' Inpatient Database was analyzed to calculate hospitalization rates for 2000, 2003, and 2006. For each year, information was available for over 2 million hospitalizations, representing 6.3 to 6.5 million hospital stays annually in acute care, non-psychiatric hospitals.Results: The rate of pediatric hospitalizations with a principal diagnosis of a mood disorder was 12.4/10,000 in 2000, 13.0 in 2003, and 12.1 in 2006. In the same period, the incidence of hospitalizations for depressive disorders decreased from 9.1 to 6.4/10,000 children while the incidence of hospitalizations for bipolar disorders increased from 3.3 to 5.7/10,000 children. The mean length of stay increased from 7.1 to 7.7 days, while inflation-adjusted hospital charges increased from $10,600 in 2000, to $13,700 in 2003, to $16,300 in 2006. The proportion of mood disorder stays paid by government increased from 35.3% to 45.2%. The Western region experienced the lowest rates (9.9/10,000, 11.6 and 10.2 in 2000, 2003 and 2006) while the Midwest had the highest rates (26.4, 27.6, and 25.4).Conclusions: Mood disorders are a major reason for hospitalization during development, especially in adolescence. Mood disorder hospitalizations remained relatively constant from 2000-2006, but diagnoses of depressive disorders decreased while diagnoses of bipolar disorders increased. Hospitalization rates vary widely by region of the country.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number27
JournalChild and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health
StatePublished - Aug 7 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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