Journal article Open Access

Viral Meningitis-Associated Hospitalizations in the United States, 1988–1999

Khetsuriani, Nino; Quiroz, Eva S.; Holman, Robert C.; Anderson, Larry J.

We used the National Hospital Discharge Survey and the Nationwide Inpatient Sample of the Health Care Cost and Utilization Project to estimate disease burden associated with viral meningitis hospitalizations in the United States. During 1988–1999, viral meningitis accounted for an estimated 434,000 hospitalizations (annual average, 36,000; average annual hospitalization rate, 14/100,000), and 2.1 million hospital days (annual average, 175,000). The estimated mean charge for viral meningitis-associated hospitalization during 1993–1997 varied between USD 6,562 and 8,313, resulting in annual estimated hospitalization costs between USD 234 and 310 million and a total estimated cost of nearly USD 1.3 billion for the 5-year period. In summary, viral meningitis remains an important cause of morbidity and financial burden and merits efforts to improve diagnostic, treatment, and prevention options.

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