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Hepatitis A Hospitalizations Down From 2002 to 2011

Increase in age of those hospitalized, and in percent of hospitalizations covered by Medicare

THURSDAY, Jan. 29, 2015 (HealthDay News) — From 2002 to 2011 there was a decrease in the rate of hospitalizations for hepatitis A, according to a study published in the February issue of Hepatology.

Melissa G. Collier, M.D., from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, and colleagues describe changes in primary hepatitis A hospitalization rates in the United States from 2002 to 2011. The effect of secondary diagnoses on hospitalization length of stay was also examined.

The researchers found that during 2002 to 2011 there was a decrease in the rates of hospitalization for hepatitis A as a principal diagnosis, from 0.72/100,000 to 0.29/100,000 (P < 0.0001); there was also an increase in the mean age of those hospitalized from 37.6 to 45.5 years (P < 0.0001). There was an increase in the percentage of hepatitis A hospitalizations covered by Medicare, from 12.4 to 22.7 percent (P < 0.0001). There were increases in secondary comorbid discharge diagnoses, including liver disease, hypertension, ischemic heart disease, disorders of lipid metabolism, and chronic kidney disease. Over time, there were no changes in length of stay or in-hospital death from hepatitis A, but longer hospitalizations were seen for those with liver disease.

“Hospitalization rates for hepatitis A illness have declined significantly from 2002 to 2011, but the characteristics of the hospitalized population also changed,” the authors write. “Hepatitis A disease and resulting hospitalizations could be prevented through adult vaccination.”

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