The Impact of Single Gene and Chromosomal Disorders on Hospital Admissions of Children and Adolescents: A Population-Based Study
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Background: It is well recognized that genetic disease makesa significant contribution to childhood illness. Here, we presentrecent population data describing the impact of singlegene and chromosomal disorders on hospital admissions ofchildren and adolescents. Methods: Hospital admissions forpatients aged 0–19 years between 2000 and 2006, with asingle gene or chromosomal disorder, were extracted fromthe Western Australian Hospital Morbidity Data System using296 diagnosis codes identified from the InternationalStatistical Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, AustralianModification. Data extracted for each patient includedthe number, length and cost of all admissions. Results: Between2000 and 2006, 14,197 admissions were identified for3,271 patients aged 0–19 years with single gene and chromosomaldisorders, representing 2.6% of admissions and4.3% of total hospital costs in this age group. Patients withgenetic disorders had more admissions and stayed longer in hospital than patients admitted for any reason. Specific disordersassociated with a high demand on hospital servicesincluded cystic fibrosis, Down syndrome, osteogenesis imperfecta,thalassemia, and von Willebrand’s disease. Conclusions:Children and adolescents with single gene and chromosomaldisorders placed higher demands on hospital servicesthan other patients in their age group, but wereresponsible for a relatively small proportion of hospital admissionsand costs. These data will enable informed planningof health care services for patients with single gene andchromosomal disorders in Western Australia.
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