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Hospitalizations Soar for Kids with Skin Infections

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: July 16, 2008

Children aged 4 and younger were hospitalized with skin infections more than 34,000 times in 2006, a 150 percent increase from 2000, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

The data are included in a new AHRQ analysis of hospitalization trends among children 17 and younger. It shows skin infections ranked as the 8th most common reason for child hospitalizations in 2006, up from 17th in 2000. The legs, face, and buttocks were most common sites for infections among hospitalized children in 2006. Reasons for the rise in hospitalizations are unclear but may be in part linked to increasing resistance to antibiotics.

AHRQ's new analysis also showed:

  • Hospitalizations for skin infections also increased sharply for youths aged 15 to 17—from about 4,900 in 2000 to about 10,500 in 2006.
  • Respiratory diseases remained the top reason for child hospitalizations. About 513,000 children were admitted in 2006 for pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, influenza, or other respiratory diseases.
  • Other leading admissions of children in 2006 included:
    • Gastritis, intestinal infections, and other digestive disorders (310,000).
    • Meningitis, epilepsy, and other nervous system disorders (174,000).
    • Adolescent pregnancy (174,000).
    • Diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and other metabolic or endocrine disorders (147,000).
    • Depression, bipolar disease, and other mental disorders (140,000).

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Hospital Stays for Children, 2006. The report uses 2006 statistics from the Kids' Inpatient Database, a database of the hospital inpatient stays of children age 17 and younger in short-term, non-Federal hospitals.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, contact Bruce Seeman at or call 301-427-1998.

Current as of July 2008


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