Estimates of Parainfluenza Virus-Associated Hospitalizations and Cost Among Children Aged Less Than 5 Years in the United States, 1998-2010

J Pediatric Infect Dis Soc. 2016 Mar;5(1):7-13. doi: 10.1093/jpids/piu047. Epub 2014 Jun 2.


Background: Parainfluenza virus (PIV) is the second leading cause of hospitalization for respiratory illness in young children in the United States. Infection can result in a full range of respiratory illness, including bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia. The recognized human subtypes of PIV are numbered 1-4. This study calculates estimates of PIV-associated hospitalizations among U.S. children younger than 5 years using the latest available data.

Methods: Data from the National Respiratory and Enteric Virus Surveillance System were used to characterize seasonal PIV trends from July 2004 through June 2010. To estimate the number of PIV-associated hospitalizations that occurred annually among U.S. children aged <5 years from 1998 through 2010, respiratory hospitalizations from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Nationwide Inpatient Sample were multiplied by the proportion of acute respiratory infection hospitalizations positive for PIV among young children enrolled in the New Vaccine Surveillance Network. Estimates of hospitalization charges attributable to PIV infection were also calculated.

Results: Parainfluenza virus seasonality follows type-specific seasonal patterns, with PIV-1 circulating in odd-numbered years and PIV-2 and -3 circulating annually. The average annual estimates of PIV-associated bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia hospitalizations among children aged <5 years in the United States were 3888 (0.2 hospitalizations per 1000), 8481 per year (0.4 per 1000 children), and 10,186 (0.5 per 1000 children), respectively. Annual charges for PIV-associated bronchiolitis, croup, and pneumonia hospitalizations were approximately $43 million, $58 million, and $158 million, respectively.

Conclusions: The majority of PIV-associated hospitalizations in young children occur among those aged 0 to 2 years. When vaccines for PIV become available, immunization would be most effective if realized within the first year of life.

Keywords: bronchiolitis; croup; parainfluenza; pneumonia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Bronchiolitis / epidemiology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Croup / epidemiology
  • Hospital Charges
  • Hospitalization / economics
  • Hospitalization / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Immunization Programs
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Length of Stay / economics
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / economics
  • Paramyxoviridae Infections / epidemiology*
  • Pneumonia, Viral / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Seasons
  • United States / epidemiology