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Pediatr Infect Dis J. 2003 Sep;22(9):808-14.

Disease burden and risk factors for hospitalizations associated with rotavirus infection among children in New York State, 1989 through 2000.

Author information

New York State Department of Health, Room 1143, Corning Tower Building, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12237, USA. hgc04@health,



To examine trends in hospitalizations for pediatric diarrhea, ascertain the disease burden and risk factors for hospitalizations associated with rotavirus and assess the accuracy of coding for rotavirus hospitalizations in New York State.


For 1989 through 2000, data were obtained for all diarrhea-associated hospitalizations in New York State among children 1 month through 4 years of age. Characteristics of patients hospitalized with rotavirus were compared with those for hospitalizations with diarrhea from other causes. Medical charts coded as rotavirus diarrhea were reviewed for patients who were discharged during 1997 to determine whether these diagnoses were supported with laboratory results.


Diarrhea was reported as a discharge diagnosis in approximately 13% of all hospitalizations for an annual incidence of 83 per 10 000 children. Viruses were the most common etiologic agents reported. Since 1993, when a rotavirus-specific code was introduced, rotavirus infection was coded for 8.7% of all diarrhea-associated hospitalizations. A total of 136 patients with diarrhea died during their hospitalization (hospital fatality rate, 1.6 per 1000), and the 12 deaths among patients with rotavirus had a distinct winter pattern. During 1997 only 46% of the hospitals reporting diarrhea in children used the specific code for rotavirus, and 12% of hospitals reported rotavirus in >30% of all diarrhea-associated hospitalizations. Infants <4 months of age were more likely than older children to be nosocomially infected with rotavirus and had a higher proportion of congenital malformations.


In New York State diarrhea is a common hospital discharge diagnosis and contributes approximately 13% of all hospitalizations among children <5 years of age. When hospitals with maximum recording were used as a reference point, >30% of diarrhea hospitalizations were recorded as likely the result of rotavirus.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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