JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Acute epiglottitis: Analysis of U.S. mortality trends from 1979 to 2017.

PURPOSE: Evaluate trends in mortality due to acute epiglottitis before and after adoption of Haemophilus influenza Type b vaccination (Hib) in pediatric and adult populations.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Patients who died from acute epiglottis from 1979 to 2017 identified using National Vital Statistics System. Mortality rates calculated using age-adjusted US census data expressed in rate per 100,000 individuals. Trends analyzed using the National Cancer Institute Joinpoint Regression Program (version 4.7.0; Bethesda, Maryland).

RESULTS: 1187 epiglottitis-related deaths were identified over thirty-nine years. Total deaths decreased from 65 in 1979 to 15 in 2017. Adult deaths accounted for 63.5% and decreased from 0.015 per 100,000 individuals (24 deaths) in 1979 to 0.006 per 100,000 individuals (14 deaths) in 2017. Best fitting log-liner regression model showed APC of -3.5% (95% CI, -4.2 to -2.7%) from 1979 to 2017. Pediatric and adolescent deaths accounted for 443 (37.3%) deaths, decreasing from 0.064 per 100,000 individuals (41 deaths) in 1979 to 0.001 per 100,000 individuals (1 death) in 2017. APC was -11.1% (95% CI, -13.8% to -8.3%) in 1979 to 1990; 46.5% (95% CI, -16.6% to 157.3%) in 1990 to 1993; -61.6% (95% CI, -88% to 23%) in 1993 to 1996; and 1.1% (95% CI, -2.4% to 4.7%) in 1996 to 2017.

CONCLUSIONS: Mortality from acute epiglottitis decreased after widespread adoption of Hib vaccination in the US. Adults are now more likely than children to die of acute epiglottitis. Further research including multi-institutional cohort studies must be done to elucidate causative factors contributing to remaining cases of mortality.

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