Study: Number of Kids Hospitalized With MRSA Up 10-Fold Since 1999
The number of children hospitalized with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus increased by 10-fold from 1999 to 2008, according to a study published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics, the AP/Miami Herald reports.
The study found that the disease incidence climbed from two cases per 1,000 hospitals to 21 cases per 1,000 hospitals.
ResearchersÂ examined 25 children's hospitals, at which about 30,000 children were hospitalized with MRSA infections during the 10-year period. According to the study, a majority of the children had skin or muscle infections and 374 died.
Study author Jason Newland -- an infectious disease physician at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and the University of Missouri-Kansas City -- said that it is not clear if MRSA caused the deaths. However, the disease is known to be deadly and is attributed to the deaths of more than 18,000 children and adults in the U.S. annually, according to the AP/Herald.
According to the study, the majority of MRSA infections, which previously occurred mostly in hospitals and nursing homes, were caught in community settings. Newland said that although the study involved only specific children's hospitals, the increase likely occurred across the U.S.
Possible Correlation With Antibiotic Use
In addition, the study found a correlation between an increase in the use of the antibiotic clindamycin and the rise in MRSA incidence, as well as smaller increases for two other antibiotics. The study also found that use of vancomycin, another drug often prescribed to treat MRSA intravenously, decreased during the 10-year period.
Newland said he is wary of the increased use of clindamycin because in some regions MRSA already has become resistant to the drug. He said physicians should use it more carefully (Tanner, AP/Miami Herald, 5/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.