Hospitalization of the elderly in the United States for nonspecific gastrointestinal diseases: a search for etiological clues

Am J Public Health. 2011 Nov;101(11):2082-6. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2010.300096. Epub 2011 Jun 8.


The frequency of hospitalization among the elderly in the United States caused by gastrointestinal diseases between 1991 and 2004 increased dramatically, especially hospitalization of elderly individuals with nonspecific diagnoses. We analyzed 6 640 304 gastrointestinal disease-associated hospitalization records in this 14-year period by comparing the peak times of nonspecific gastrointestinal diseases with those of specific diseases. We found that most nonspecific gastrointestinal diseases peak concurrently with viral enteritis, suggesting a lack of diagnostic testing for viruses, which may adversely affect the efficiency of prevention, surveillance, and treatment efforts.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Enteritis / etiology
  • Gastrointestinal Diseases / etiology*
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insurance Claim Review / statistics & numerical data
  • Medicaid / statistics & numerical data
  • Seasons
  • United States