Temporal Trends of Pediatric Dysphagia in Hospitalized Patients

Joshua Horton, Carlyn Atwood, Sharon Gnagi, Ronald Teufel, Clarice Clemmens
Dysphagia 2018, 33 (5): 655-661
The objective of this study was to determine temporal trends of dysphagia diagnoses in hospitalized children. This is a retrospective observational study from the 1997-2012 Kids' Inpatient Database (KID) conducted in the setting of weighted hospitalizations in a KID participating center. More than 6 million pediatric admissions were captured in each triennial KID report. Main outcomes included triennial rates of dysphagia diagnosis in hospitalized pediatric patients, and secondary outcomes included rates of dysphagia in premature and low-birthweight infants. Dysphagia diagnoses were coded in 5107/6607653 (0.08%) of these admissions in 1997, rising to 27,464/6,675,222 (0.41%) in 2012 (p < 0.001). The portion of these diagnoses in premature neonates has been increasing over time from 162/9551 (1.7%) in 2003 to 1027/27,464 (3.7%) by 2012 (p < 0.001). Similarly, low-birthweight children constituted 40/5107 (0.8%) of dysphagia diagnoses in 1997, a number that increased to 762/27,464 (2.8%) in 2012. Rates of dysphagia are increasing nationally, particularly in premature and low-birthweight infants, which may represent an increase alongside other neuroanatomic abnormalities. This growing problem illustrates the need for better data on the comparative efficacy of diagnostic and treatment modalities.

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