Poster session IV Epidemiology, infectious disease, intrapartum fetal assessment, operative obstetrics, obstetric quality & safety, public health-global health: Abstracts 537 - 686| Volume 206, ISSUE 1, SUPPLEMENT , S246-S247, January 01, 2012

543: Hyperemesis gravidarum-related hospitalizations and emergency room visits: characterizations and trends, 2000-2009


      Hyperemesis gravidarum (HG) represents the far end of the spectrum of nausea and vomiting during pregnancy. The purpose of this study is to examine the trends and characteristics of HG-related hospitalizations and emergency department visits during the decade spanning 2000-2009.

      Study Design

      We used publicly available data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP). Hospitalizations and emergency room visits for HG and other complications of pregnancy were identified using ICD-9 codes. Hospitalization rates, mean length of stay and mean total charges were calculated for the years 2000 through 2009 and were compared based on patient and hospital characteristics.


      Hospitalizations with HG as the primary diagnosis decreased from 34,307 in 2000 to 22,638 in 2009 (-34%). All other complications of pregnancy experienced a similar drop in hospitalizations during the decade. Conversely, from 2006-08, the only years with ED data available, there was an increase in treat and release ED visits year-to-year with HG listed as the primary diagnosis, ranging from 162,702 to 167,916 visits. Among other complications of pregnancy analyzed, only genitourinary infections accounted for more treat and release ED visits during this period. The national cost of treating HG in the inpatient setting increased 50% from $167 million in 2000 to $250 million in 2009. ED visit costs for HG or other complications of pregnancy were not available.


      Hyperemesis gravidarum is the second most common cause of overall hospital visits during the antepartum period. While the number of inpatient hospitalizations for HG have decreased, treat and release ED visits have shown year-to-year increases. The data suggests HG is becoming a condition that is imposing an increasingly heavier burden on the nations emergency departments. A cost analysis of ED visits for HG is needed to determine how significant this burden will become. The national economic impact of HG is significant and emphasizes the need for continued investment in therapy to prevent and treat this often disabling disease.
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