Intended for healthcare professionals


Hospital admissions for acute anaphylaxis: time trend study

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 27 May 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1441
  1. Aziz Sheikh, NHS R & D national primary care training fellow (,
  2. Bernadette Alves, health services researcher
  1. Department of Primary Health Care and General Practice, Imperial College School of Medicine, London W2 1PG
  1. Correspondence to: A Sheikh
  • Accepted 15 March 2000

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the incidence of acute anaphylaxis is increasing.1 Reasons for this supposed increase are poorly understood although a number of factors associated with the “Western lifestyle” have been implicated, such as changes in diet and the increasing use of therapeutic drugs. We investigated trends in hospital admissions for acute anaphylaxis using routinely collected national hospital discharge statistics from 1991-2 to 1994-5.

Methods and results

The hospital episode statistics database captures information on every admission to NHS hospitals in England. One primary diagnosis code and up to six secondary codes are recorded, the latter providing information on aetiology. We looked at hospital discharges occurring between 1 April 1991 and 31 March 1995 in which the primary ICD-9 (international classification of diseases, ninth revision) code was anaphylaxis (either anaphylactic shock (ICD-9 code 995.0) or anaphylactic shock due to …

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