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Pediatrics. 2019 Dec;144(6). pii: e20192614. doi: 10.1542/peds.2019-2614. Epub 2019 Nov 7.

Trends in Bronchiolitis Hospitalizations in the United States: 2000-2016.

Author information

Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and.
Department of Clinical Epidemiology and Health Economics, School of Public Health and.
Department of Pediatric Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan; and.
Graduate School of Medical Sciences, University of Fukui, Fukui, Japan.
Department of Pediatrics, Boston Children's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Harvard University, Boston, Massachusetts.
Department of Emergency Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital and



To investigate the temporal trend in the national incidence of bronchiolitis hospitalizations, their characteristics, inpatient resource use, and hospital cost from 2000 through 2016.


We performed a serial, cross-sectional analysis of nationally representative samples (the 2000, 2003, 2006, 2009, 2012, and 2016 Kids' Inpatient Databases) of children (age <2 years) hospitalized for bronchiolitis. We identified all children hospitalized with bronchiolitis by using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification 466.1 and International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision, Clinical Modification J21. Complex chronic conditions were defined by the pediatric complex chronic conditions classification by using inpatient data. The primary outcomes were the incidence of bronchiolitis hospitalizations, mechanical ventilation use, and hospital direct cost. We examined the trends accounting for sampling weights.


From 2000 to 2016, the incidence of bronchiolitis hospitalization decreased from 17.9 to 13.5 per 1000 person-years in US children (25% decrease; P trend < .001). In contrast, the proportion of bronchiolitis hospitalizations among overall hospitalizations increased from 16% to 18% (P trend < .001). There was an increase in the proportion of children with a complex chronic condition (6%-13%; 117% increase), hospitalization to children's hospital (15%-29%; 93% increase), and mechanical ventilation use (2%-5%; 184% increase; all P trend < .001). Likewise, the hospital cost increased from $449 million to $734 million (63% increase) nationally (with an increase in geometric mean of cost per hospitalization [from $3267 to $4086; 25% increase; P trend < .001] adjusted for inflation) from 2003 to 2016.


From 2000 through 2016, the incidence of bronchiolitis hospitalizations among US children declined. In contrast, mechanical ventilation use and nationwide hospital direct cost substantially increased.

[Available on 2020-12-01]

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