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Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2004 Summer;5(2):160-5.

The burden of appendicitis-related hospitalizations in the United States in 1997.

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  • 1Merck Research Laboratories, Merck & Co. Inc., Blue Bell, Pennsylvania, USA.



Acute appendicitis is among the most frequent causes of surgical abdominal disease worldwide.


Data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Healthcare Utilization Project were used to estimate the prevalence and disease burden of appendicitis-related hospitalizations in the United States in 1997. The data are a representative sample of discharge records from community hospitals drawn from 22 states in the United States.


In the United States in 1997, there were an estimated 252,682 (95% CI: 242,957-262,407) appendicitis-related hospitalizations. The mean length of stay and total charges for appendicitis-related hospitalizations were four days (95% CI: 3.4-4.6) and $11,645 (95% CI: $11,299-$11,992) per hospitalization, respectively. Appendicitis-related hospitalizations associated with post-operative infection, peritoneal abscess, or peritonitis had longer average lengths of stay and higher average costs when compared to hospitalizations associated with local appendicitis without post-operative infection. Appendicitis cases among very young and older patients were more likely to be associated with peritoneal abscess, peritonitis, or post-operative infection.


In 1997, appendicitis-related hospitalizations accounted for 0.6% of all hospitalizations in the United States, resulting in approximately one million hospital days and $3 billion in hospital charges. Between 1984 and 1997, the rate of appendicitis hospitalizations in the U. S. population declined slightly, whereas the total number of hospital days remained unchanged.

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