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Pediatrics. 2001 Jul;108(1):54-60.

Intussusception, rotavirus diarrhea, and rotavirus vaccine use among children in New York state.

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New York State Department of Health, Albany, New York, USA.



To describe epidemiologic features of intussusception and rotavirus diarrhea in New York, to examine the baseline incidence and trends over time, and to ascertain whether an excess of cases occurred in the 9 months of vaccination with the newly licensed rotavirus vaccine.


Hospital discharge data from 1989 through 1998 were reviewed for children (<1 year old) whose primary or secondary diagnosis was coded as intussusception or rotavirus diarrhea. Characteristics of patients admitted for intussusception and rotavirus diarrhea were compared, and trends over time were examined. For a subset of patients, medical records and vaccine histories for intussusception hospitalizations from October 1998 through June 1999 were analyzed. The number of intussusception cases attributable to rotavirus vaccine was calculated based on the penetration of the vaccine (21%) and a range of excess risks of intussusception among vaccinated children as estimated by the National Immunization Program (NIP).


From 1989 through 1998, 1450 intussusception-associated hospitalizations were reported in children <1 year old (average annual incidence 5.4/10 000). Among these children, 47% were treated medically and 53% had surgery, with 9% needing surgical resection. The incidence of intussusception declined over time from 6.1 per 10 000 in 1989 to 3.9 per 10 000 in 1998. Intussusception hospitalizations occurred throughout the year, whereas rotavirus-associated hospitalizations peaked from February to April. Of 20 patients with intussusception whose hospitalization charts were reviewed, 5 had received rotavirus vaccine. All 5 were hospitalized after their first dose of vaccine, were admitted before 7 months of age, were white, and had private insurance. A total of 81 cases of intussusception occurred during the 9-month period of rotavirus vaccination, compared with 78 during the same period in the prevaccination year. The number of excess intussusception cases observed (n = 3) was lower than expected using the NIP estimate of excess risk (1.8) among rotavirus vaccinated children (n = 12) but not significantly different from the risks identified in the NIP cohort studies (1 in 12 000).


Our data suggest that in New York the rate of intussusception has declined, and approximately 1 child in 2600 develops intussusception before 1 year of age. The different seasonality between intussusception and rotavirus-related hospitalizations suggests that if any causal association exists, it must be small. Unlike other studies, analysis of New York hospitalized discharge data failed to show an appreciable increase in the incidence of intussusception after introduction of the rotavirus vaccine.

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