Study: Infants and the uninsured have highest hospitalized child mortality rates

December 16, 2008

According to a study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, mortality rates among hospitalized children are highest for infants, excluding newborns, and the uninsured.

According to a study in the Journal of Hospital Medicine, mortality rates among hospitalized children are highest for infants, excluding newborns, and the uninsured.

For the study, researchers conducted a cross-sectional analysis of data from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a nationally representative dataset of hospital discharges, for 1992, 1997, and 2002.

They found that non-newborns under a year old had mortality rates of 52%, the highest of hospitalized child age groups studied. At 40%, newborns had the second highest mortality rate.

Among all age groups, uninsured children had the highest mortality rate at 58%, followed by children with Medicaid coverage at 45%. The mortality rate for children with private health plans was 33%.

The investigators also found that insured children had lower mortality rates compared to the uninsured, and hospital charges were significantly lower for uninsured children compared with insured children.