Nav: Home

What are trends in emergency department utilization, costs for shingles?

June 21, 2017

A new article published by JAMA Dermatology uses a nationwide database of emergency department (ED) visits to examine herpes zoster (HZ, shingles)-related ED utilization and costs.

HZ can develop in anyone who has had varicella (chicken pox) or gotten the varicella vaccine, although the risk is lower in those who were vaccinated. The chicken pox vaccine was introduced into the U.S. vaccination schedule in 1995 for children 12 months or older. A vaccine for HZ has been available in the United States since 2006 and it can reduce the likelihood of developing HZ in adults 60 and older, for whom vaccination is recommended.

Arash Mostaghimi, M.D., M.P.A., M.P.H., of Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, and coauthors identified more than 1.3 million HZ-related ED visits from 2006 through 2013, representing 0.13 percent of all ED visits in the United States.

Between 2006 and 2013, the percentage of HZ-related ED visits increased from 0.13 percent to 0.14 percent (8.3 percent) and that growth was driven by patients 20 to 59 years old. HZ-related ED visits decreased for patients ages 18 to 19 and for patients 60 and older. For all age groups, overall average charges for HZ-related ED visits increased from $763 to $1,262, according to the results.

"Our study found an increase in total ED visits associated with HZ between 2006 and 2013 due to an increased number of visits by patients aged 20 to 59 years. Despite decreased utilization in paitents aged less than 20 years and 60 years or older, we found increased total adjusted charges in these populations. Our findings suggest that vaccination may be associated with a reduction of ED utilization. Further research is necessary to identify the drivers of increased costs," the study concludes.

Researchers caution their study doesn't allow them to directly link the change in utilization to vaccination.
For more details and to read the full study, please visit the For The Media website.


Editor's Note: Please see the article for additional information, including other authors, author contributions and affiliations, financial disclosures, funding and support, etc.

To place an electronic embedded link in your story: Links will be live at the embargo time:

The JAMA Network Journals

Related Vaccination Articles:

Religion associated with HPV vaccination rate for college women
A survey of female college students finds 25% had not been vaccinated for HPV and religion may be a contributing factor.
Measles vaccination: 'All for one and one for all'
A commentary by researchers addresses the specter of clinical, ethical, public health and legal concerns that have been raised because of the recent measles outbreaks in New York.
New single vaccination approach to killer diseases
Scientists from the University of Adelaide's Research Centre for Infectious Diseases have developed a single vaccination approach to simultaneously combat influenza and pneumococcal infections, the world's most deadly respiratory diseases.
Vaccination may help protect bats from deadly disease
A new study shows that vaccination may reduce the impact of white-nose syndrome in bats, marking a milestone in the international fight against one of the most destructive wildlife diseases in modern times.
Parents reassured febrile seizures following vaccination not dangerous
New University of Sydney research finds that febrile seizures after vaccination are rare, not serious and are no different to febrile seizures due to other causes such as from a virus.
More Vaccination News and Vaccination Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...