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Hospital admissions for viral meningitis in children in England over five decades: a population-based observational study

Hospital admissions for viral meningitis in children in England over five decades: a population-based observational study
Hospital admissions for viral meningitis in children in England over five decades: a population-based observational study
BACKGROUND:
A substantial reduction in bacterial meningitis has occurred in the UK following successful implementation of immunisation programmes. Most childhood meningitis in developed countries is now caused by viruses. Long-term trends in paediatric viral meningitis in England have not previously been reported. The objective of this study is to report on epidemiological trends over time in childhood viral meningitis in England.

METHODS:
In this population-based observational study, we used routinely collected hospital discharge records from English National Health Service hospitals from 1968-2011 to analyse annual age-specific admission rates for viral meningitis, including specific viral aetiologies, in children younger than 15 years.

FINDINGS:
We analysed hospital discharge records from Jan 1, 1968, to Dec 31, 2011. Hospital admission rates for viral meningitis from Jan 1, 1968, to Dec 31, 1985, varied annually, with a mean of 13·5 admissions per 100 000 children aged less than 15 years, per year (95% CI 13·0-14·0). Admission rates declined during the late 1980s, and the mean number of admissions from 1989-2011 was 5·2 per 100 000 per year (5·1-5·3). This decrease was entirely in children aged 1-14 years. Admission rates for infants aged less than 1 year increased since 2005, to 70·0 per 100 000 (63·7-76·2) in 2011, which was driven by an increase in admission of infants aged 90 days or less. In 1968-85, the majority of cases in children were in those aged 1-14 years (22 150 [89%] of 24 920 admissions). In 2007-11, 1716 (72%) of 2382 cases were in infants. Admissions for mumps-related meningitis almost disappeared following introduction of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1988. Admissions with a specified viral aetiology have increased since 2000.

INTERPRETATION:
Trends in viral meningitis admissions have changed substantially over the past 50 years, and probably reflect the impact of the MMR vaccine programme and the use of more sensitive diagnostic techniques.
1473-3099
1279-1287
Martin, Natalie G
5eedf771-c580-4454-aaa4-dc38ad8791a0
Iro, Mildred
8a5c81c4-0746-4f19-b1fc-7889d20e02eb
Sadarangani, Manish
2319d171-d1ab-42d5-bcd0-1f4a0d1ce53f
Goldacre, Raphael
fb40279f-1f6b-48b2-9cef-b2ff567d5d21
Pollard, Andrew J.
f54083f3-c730-4ecb-937e-6fb11fdd6a21
Goldacre, M.
967611b9-a6e2-4ee0-b095-004a52ff1bc1
Martin, Natalie G
5eedf771-c580-4454-aaa4-dc38ad8791a0
Iro, Mildred
8a5c81c4-0746-4f19-b1fc-7889d20e02eb
Sadarangani, Manish
2319d171-d1ab-42d5-bcd0-1f4a0d1ce53f
Goldacre, Raphael
fb40279f-1f6b-48b2-9cef-b2ff567d5d21
Pollard, Andrew J.
f54083f3-c730-4ecb-937e-6fb11fdd6a21
Goldacre, M.
967611b9-a6e2-4ee0-b095-004a52ff1bc1

Martin, Natalie G, Iro, Mildred, Sadarangani, Manish, Goldacre, Raphael, Pollard, Andrew J. and Goldacre, M. (2016) Hospital admissions for viral meningitis in children in England over five decades: a population-based observational study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 16 (11), 1279-1287. (doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30201-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

BACKGROUND:
A substantial reduction in bacterial meningitis has occurred in the UK following successful implementation of immunisation programmes. Most childhood meningitis in developed countries is now caused by viruses. Long-term trends in paediatric viral meningitis in England have not previously been reported. The objective of this study is to report on epidemiological trends over time in childhood viral meningitis in England.

METHODS:
In this population-based observational study, we used routinely collected hospital discharge records from English National Health Service hospitals from 1968-2011 to analyse annual age-specific admission rates for viral meningitis, including specific viral aetiologies, in children younger than 15 years.

FINDINGS:
We analysed hospital discharge records from Jan 1, 1968, to Dec 31, 2011. Hospital admission rates for viral meningitis from Jan 1, 1968, to Dec 31, 1985, varied annually, with a mean of 13·5 admissions per 100 000 children aged less than 15 years, per year (95% CI 13·0-14·0). Admission rates declined during the late 1980s, and the mean number of admissions from 1989-2011 was 5·2 per 100 000 per year (5·1-5·3). This decrease was entirely in children aged 1-14 years. Admission rates for infants aged less than 1 year increased since 2005, to 70·0 per 100 000 (63·7-76·2) in 2011, which was driven by an increase in admission of infants aged 90 days or less. In 1968-85, the majority of cases in children were in those aged 1-14 years (22 150 [89%] of 24 920 admissions). In 2007-11, 1716 (72%) of 2382 cases were in infants. Admissions for mumps-related meningitis almost disappeared following introduction of the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine in 1988. Admissions with a specified viral aetiology have increased since 2000.

INTERPRETATION:
Trends in viral meningitis admissions have changed substantially over the past 50 years, and probably reflect the impact of the MMR vaccine programme and the use of more sensitive diagnostic techniques.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 1 April 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 12 August 2016
Published date: November 2016

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 424449
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/424449
ISSN: 1473-3099
PURE UUID: 81339648-837e-4ca0-bdf5-2063854437d8
ORCID for Mildred Iro: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9894-6149

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 05 Oct 2018 11:37
Last modified: 23 Jul 2022 02:21

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Contributors

Author: Natalie G Martin
Author: Mildred Iro ORCID iD
Author: Manish Sadarangani
Author: Raphael Goldacre
Author: Andrew J. Pollard
Author: M. Goldacre

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