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New HCUP Statistical Brief: Emergency Department Visits Involving Influenza and Influenza-Like Illnesses, 2016-2018

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The Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) has posted a new statistical brief on the following:  Emergency Department Visits Involving Influenza and Influenza-Like Illnesses, 2016-2018. This HCUP Statistical Brief presents statistics on Influenza and Influenza-Like Illnesses (ILI)-related ED visits from 2016 through 2018. The HCUP State Inpatient Databases (SID) were used to identify ED visits resulting in inpatient admission, and the State Emergency Department Databases (SEDD) were used to identify treat-and-release ED visits from 34 States and the District of Columbia. Three measures characterize ILI-related ED utilization: the population rate of ED visits involving ILI, the percentage of ILI-related ED visits resulting in inpatient admission, and the percentage of total ED visits involving ILI—a measure of the transmissibility and clinical severity of an influenza epidemic. 

Statistical Brief highlights include:

  • On average from August 2016 to July 2018, nearly 8 percent of emergency department (ED) visits had any-listed influenza or influenza-like illness (ILI) diagnosis, with peaks in February 2017 (13 percent) and January 2018 (16 percent).
  • Between August 2016 and July 2018, there were 3,346 ILI-related ED visits per 100,000 population, of which 22 percent resulted in inpatient admission.
  • Rates of ILI-related ED visits were higher for populations aged <18 years (5,178 per 100,000 population) and 65+ years (4,812) than aged 18-64 years (2,304), and higher for Black (5,867) than for White (3,042), Hispanic (3,012), and Asian/Pacific Islander (1,051) populations.
  • Rates of ILI-related ED visits were higher in rural metro-adjacent, rural remote, and lower income areas than in metropolitan and higher income areas.
  • States with the highest rates of ILI-related ED visits (3,843-5,820 per 100,000 population) were concentrated in the Midwest and in the South, whereas the lowest rates (1,933-2,458 per 100,000 population) were generally in northern States.
  • A Black-White disparity in the rate of ILI-related ED visits existed in all States examined.

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