Hospitalizations for severe lower respiratory tract infections

Adena H. Greenbaum, Jufu Chen, Carrie Reed, Suzanne Beavers, David Callahan, Deborah Christensen, Lyn Finelli, Alicia M. Fry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Hospitalization for lower respiratory tract infections (LRTIs) among children have been well characterized. We characterized hospitalizations for severe LRTI among children.

METHODS: We analyzed claims data from commercial and Medicaid insurance enrollees (MarketScan) ages 0 to 18 years from 2007 to 2011. LRTI hospitalizations were identified by the first 2 listed International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision discharge codes; those with ICU admission and/or receiving mechanical ventilation were defined as severe LRTI. Underlying conditions were determined from out- and inpatient discharge codes in the preceding year. We report insurance specific and combined rates that used both commercial and Medicaid rates and adjusted for age and insurance status.

RESULTS: During 2007-2011, we identified 16 797 and 12 053 severe LRTI hospitalizations among commercial and Medicaid enrollees, respectively. The rates of severe LRTI hospitalizations per 100 000 person-years were highest in children aged <1 year (commercial: 244; Medicaid: 372, respectively), and decreased with age. Among commercial enrollees, ≥1 condition increased the risk for severe LRTI (1 condition: adjusted relative risk, 2.68; 95% confidence interval, 2.58-2.78; 3 conditions: adjusted relative risk, 4.85; 95% confidence interval, 4.65-5.07) compared with children with no medical conditions. Using commercial/Medicaid combined rates, an estimated 31 289 hospitalizations for severe LRTI occurred each year in children in the United States.

CONCLUSIONS: Among children, the burden of hospitalization for severe LRTI is greatest among children aged <1 year. Children with underlying medical conditions are at greatest risk for severe LRTI hospitalization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-554
Number of pages9
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Children
  • Hospitalizations
  • Severe respiratory tract infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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