October 16, 1996

Lead Poisoning: Costs of Care in the United States,1988-1992

Author Affiliations

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Atlanta, Ga

JAMA. 1996;276(15):1221. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03540150023021

To the Editor.  —Lead poisoning remains a major environmental health problem among children in the United States.1 Recent estimates on the number of childhood lead poisoning hospitalizations and their cost have not been published.Data were obtained from the National Hospital Discharge Survey, a nationally representative probability survey of discharges from short-stay nonfederal hospitals.2 Analyses included hospitalization records listing lead poisoning (International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification3 codes 984, E861.5, or E866.0) among children 0 through 5 years of age for 1979 through 1983 and during 1988 through 1992. Direct costs for inpatient care were estimated from daily hospital charges of 1990 statewide billing records for 18 states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin (Manon Spitzer, Codman Research Group Inc, written communication, June 29, 1993). National inpatient childhood