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Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Apr;134(2):293-9.

Cellulitis incidence in a defined population.

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Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT 84108, USA.


A population-based insurance claims database was used to examine cellulitis incidence, anatomical sites of infection, complicating diagnoses, source of health service, and recurrence rates. Insurance claim files were searched for cellulitis ICD-9-CM codes 681.0-682.9. Complications of cellulitis including erysipelas, lymphadenitis, lymphangitis, and necrotizing fasciitis were also identified by ICD-9-CM codes. We found a cellulitis incidence rate of 24.6/1000 person-years, with a higher incidence among males and individuals aged 45-64 years. The most common site of infection was the lower extremity (39.9%). The majority of patients were seen in an outpatient setting (73.8%), and most (82.0%) had only one episode of cellulitis during the 5-year period studied. There was a very low incidence of cellulitis complications, including necrotizing fasciitis. Cellulitis is fairly common, usually treated in outpatient settings, and is infrequently complicated by erysipelas, lymphadenitis, lymphangitis, or necrotizing fasciitis.

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