Childhood asthma hospitalizations in the United States, 2000-2009

J Pediatr. 2013 Oct;163(4):1127-33.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.05.002. Epub 2013 Jun 12.


Objective: To examine temporal trends in the US incidence of childhood asthma hospitalizations, in-hospital mortality, mechanical ventilation use, and hospital charges between 2000 and 2009.

Study design: This was a serial, cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of children hospitalized with acute asthma. The Kids Inpatient Database was used to identify children aged <18 years with asthma by International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 493.xx. Outcome measures were asthma hospitalization incidence, in-hospital mortality, mechanical ventilation use, and hospital charges. We examined temporal trends of each outcome, accounting for sampling weights. Hospital charges were adjusted for inflation to 2009 US dollars.

Results: The 4 separate years (2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009) of national discharge data included a total of 592805 weighted discharges with asthma. Between 2000 and 2009, the rate of asthma hospitalization in US children decreased from 21.1 to 18.4 per 10000 person-years (13% decrease; Ptrend < .001). Mortality declined significantly after adjusting for confounders (OR for comparison of 2009 with 2000, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.17-0.79). In contrast, there was an increase in the use of mechanical ventilation (from 0.8% to 1.0%, a 28% increase; Ptrend < .001). Nationwide hospital charges also increased from $1.27 billion to $1.59 billion (26% increase; Ptrend < .001); this increase was driven by a rise in the geometric mean of hospital charges per discharge, from $5940 to $8410 (42% increase; Ptrend < .001).

Conclusion: Between 2000 and 2009, we found significant declines in asthma hospitalization and in-hospital mortality among US children. In contrast, mechanical ventilation use and hospital charges for asthma increased significantly over this same period.

Keywords: AHRQ; Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; CCS; Clinical Classifications Software; HCUP; Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project; ICD-9-CM; International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification; KID; Kids' Inpatient Database.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Asthma / epidemiology
  • Asthma / therapy*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Female
  • Health Care Costs
  • Hospital Charges / trends
  • Hospital Mortality
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States