• We are sorry, but NCBI web applications do not support your browser and may not function properly. More information
Logo of westjmedLink to Publisher's site
West J Med. 1996 Jul-Aug; 165(1-2): 20–25.
PMCID: PMC1307536

Pediatric hospital admissions for measles. Lessons from the 1990 epidemic.


To examine the descriptive epidemiology of serious measles complications and associated hospital costs during a major epidemic, we used California population-based hospital discharge data to identify hospital admissions for measles during 1986 through 1990 (ICD-9 code 055, n = 4,201). We examined 5-year trends and, for 1990 pediatric epidemic cases (n = 2,234), sociodemographic and hospital admission financial data. Hospital admission rates for measles rose significantly between 1986 and 1990. During the 1990 epidemic, preschool children aged 1 to 5 years, Medi-Cal (California's Medicaid) beneficiaries, Hispanics, and those living in urban counties accounted for most hospital admissions. Young infants and residents of southern California and the San Joaquin Valley had the highest risks. Medi-Cal beneficiaries and Asian children were at an increased risk for death during the hospital stay. The average hospital admission cost was $8,201, and the average length of hospital stay was 4.6 days. Hospital costs amounted to $18 million, two thirds of which was paid for by Medi-Cal. Measles is a serious disease that can result in severe complications requiring lengthy and costly hospital stays. We must remain alert to its continuing threat, complications, and resulting financial burdens.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.7M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Adcock LM, Bissey JD, Feigin RD. A new look at measles. Infect Dis Clin North Am. 1992 Mar;6(1):133–148. [PubMed]
  • Atkinson WL, Hadler SC, Redd SB, Orenstein WA. Measles surveillance--United States, 1991. MMWR CDC Surveill Summ. 1992 Nov 20;41(6):1–12. [PubMed]
  • Atkinson WL, Orenstein WA, Krugman S. The resurgence of measles in the United States, 1989-1990. Annu Rev Med. 1992;43:451–463. [PubMed]
  • Measles vaccination levels among selected groups of preschool-aged children--United States. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 1991 Jan 18;40(2):36–39. [PubMed]
  • Gindler JS, Atkinson WL, Markowitz LE, Hutchins SS. Epidemiology of measles in the United States in 1989 and 1990. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1992 Oct;11(10):841–846. [PubMed]
  • Cutts FT, Zell ER, Mason D, Bernier RH, Dini EF, Orenstein WA. Monitoring progress toward US preschool immunization goals. JAMA. 1992 Apr 8;267(14):1952–1955. [PubMed]
  • Farizo KM, Stehr-Green PA, Markowitz LE, Patriarca PA. Vaccination levels and missed opportunities for measles vaccination: a record audit in a public pediatric clinic. Pediatrics. 1992 Apr;89(4 Pt 1):589–592. [PubMed]
  • Ewert DP, Thomas JC, Chun LY, Enguidanos RC, Waterman SH. Measles vaccination coverage among Latino children aged 12 to 59 months in Los Angeles County: a household survey. Am J Public Health. 1991 Aug;81(8):1057–1059. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Schwarcz S, McCaw B, Fukushima P. Prevalence of measles susceptibility in hospital staff. Evidence to support expanding the recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee. Arch Intern Med. 1992 Jul;152(7):1481–1483. [PubMed]
  • King GE, Markowitz LE, Patriarca PA, Dales LG. Clinical efficacy of measles vaccine during the 1990 measles epidemic. Pediatr Infect Dis J. 1991 Dec;10(12):883–888. [PubMed]
  • Dales LG, Kizer KW, Rutherford GW, Pertowski CA, Waterman SH, Woodford G. Measles epidemic from failure to immunize. West J Med. 1993 Oct;159(4):455–464. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from The Western Journal of Medicine are provided here courtesy of BMJ Group


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • MedGen
    Related information in MedGen
  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...