Objectives: To evaluate population-based rates of Respiratory Syncytial Virus (RSV)-associated infant hospitalizations related to race/ethnicity, payer source, and geography in California.
Study design: Retrospective analysis of RSV-coded infant hospitalizations were performed using the California patient discharge data for 1999 to 2003. All discharge records for infants younger than 1 year of age with an ICD-9-CM code for any RSV-related illness (466.11, 480.1, or 079.6) among any of the diagnosis fields were selected for analysis (n = 45,330). Rates were expressed as the number of RSV-associated hospitalizations per 1000 live births in the same calendar year.
Results: Infants enrolled in MediCal (California's version of the United States' national Medicaid program) had a relative risk of 2.03 (95% CI, 1.99 to 2.06) compared with non-MediCal payers (24.3 vs 12.0/1000 live births, respectively). The 1999 to 2003 rates per 1000 live births of RSV-associated hospitalizations for MediCal payers by race/ethnicity were: non-Hispanic white (34.9), African-American (27.9), Hispanic (21.8), Asian/Pacific Islander (12.5), and American Indian/Alaska Native (12.2).
Conclusions: RSV was the leading cause of infant hospitalizations in California between 1999 and 2003. RSV hospitalization rates were highest among non-Hispanic white MediCal insured infants.