Annual hospitalization rates in the United States for Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN) were shown to be higher in adolescents, boys, and black children, in a cross-sectional analysis of discharge records from more than 4,100 hospitals.

Using relevant ICD-9 codes, researchers at Harvard University identified 1,571 patients hospitalized for SJS, TEN, or both in 2009 and 2012, as listed in the Kids Inpatient Database from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The highest hospitalization rates per 100,000 in each year were for adolescents between 15 and 19 years (P = .01), boys (P = .03), and black children (P = .82). The overall risk of death from these conditions was 1.5% in 2009 and 0.3% in 2012. The data were published online in a brief report ( Pediatr Dermatol. 2016 Dec 19. doi: 10.1111/pde.13050 ).

Although the difference in the number of hospitalizations for black children was not significant when compared with other ethnic and racial groups, at 1.03 hospitalizations per 100,000 children (95% confidence interval, 0.80, 1.31) in 2009 and 1.06 hospitalizations per 100,000 children (95% CI, 0.86, 1.30) in 2012, the rate was greatest in this group. The next highest ratio was in white children at 0.82 hospitalizations per 100,000 (95% CI, 0.74, 0.91) in 2009, and 0.95 hospitalizations per 100,000 (95% CI, 0.86, 1.05) in 2012.

With the number of SJS- and TEN-related hospitalizations between 0.1 and 1.0 per 100,000, lead author Yusuke Okubo MD, MPH, and his colleagues wrote that their data aligned with previous studies; however, regarding the emphasis on demographic differences, theirs was, to the best of their knowledge, “the first study to reveal these disparities.” Compared with adults, they added, mortality was “remarkably lower” in children.

The authors had no disclosures.

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