Pesticide-Related Hospitalizations Among Children and Teenagers in Texas, 2004-2013.
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OBJECTIVE: Acute exposure to pesticides is associated with nausea, headaches, rashes, eye irritation, seizures, and, in severe cases, death. We characterized pesticide-related hospitalizations in Texas among children and teenagers for 2004-2013 to characterize exposures in this population, which is less well understood than pesticide exposure among adults. METHODS: We abstracted information on pesticide-related hospitalizations from hospitalization data using pesticide-related International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification (ICD-9-CM) codes and E-codes. We calculated the prevalence of pesticide-related hospitalizations among children and teenagers aged #19 years for all hospitalizations, unintentional exposures, intentional exposures, pesticide classifications, and illness severity. We also calculated age- and sex-specific prevalence of pesticide-related hospitalizations among children. RESULTS: The prevalence of pesticide-related hospitalizations among children and teenagers was 2.1 per 100,000 population. The prevalence of pesticide-related hospitalizations per 100,000 population was 2.7 for boys and 1.5 for girls. The age-specific prevalence per 100,000 population was 5.3 for children aged 0-4 years, 0.3 for children and teenagers aged 5-14 years, and 2.3 for teenagers aged 15-19 years. Children aged 0-4 years had the highest prevalence of unintentional exposures, whereas teenagers aged 15-19 years had the highest prevalence of intentional exposures. Commonly reported pesticide categories were organophosphates/carbamates, disinfectants, rodenticides, and other pesticides (e.g., pyrethrins, pyrethroids). Of the 158 pesticide-related hospitalizations, most were coded as having minor (n=86) or moderate (n=40) illness severity. CONCLUSION: Characterizing the prevalence of pesticide-related hospitalizations among children and teenagers leads to a better understanding of the burden of pesticide exposures, including the type of pesticides used and the severity of potential health effects. This study found differences in the frequency of pesticide-related hospitalizations by sex, age, and intent (e.g., unintentional vs. intentional).