Respiratory syncytial virus-associated mortality in hospitalized infants and young children

Carrie L. Byington, Jacob Wilkes, Kent Korgenski, Xiaoming Sheng

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a common cause of pediatric hospitalization, but the mortality rate and estimated annual deaths are based on decades-old data. Our objective was to describe contemporary RSV-associated mortality in hospitalized infants and children aged <2 years.

METHODS: We queried the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) for 2000, 2003, 2006, and 2009 and the Pediatric Health Information System (PHIS) administrative data from 2000 to 2011 for hospitalizations with International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification diagnosis codes for RSV infection and mortality.

RESULTS: The KID data sets identified 607 937 RSV-associated admissions and 550 deaths (9.0 deaths/10 000 admissions). The PHIS data set identified 264 721 RSV-associated admissions and 671 deaths (25.4 deaths/10 000 admissions) (P < .001 compared with the KID data set). The 2009 KID data set estimated 42.0 annual deaths (3.0 deaths/10 000 admissions) for those with a primary diagnosis of RSV. The PHIS data set identified 259 deaths with a primary diagnosis of RSV, with mortality rates peaking at 14.0/10 000 admissions in 2002 and 2003 and decreasing to 4.0/ 10 000 patients by 2011 (odds ratio: 0.27 [95% confidence interval: 0.14-0.52]). The majority of deaths in both the KID and PHIS data sets occurred in infants with complex chronic conditions and in those with other acute conditions such as sepsis that could have contributed to their deaths.

CONCLUSIONS: Deaths associated with RSV are uncommon in the 21st century. Children with complex chronic conditions account for the majority of deaths, and the relative contribution of RSV infection to their deaths is unclear.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e24-e31
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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