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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Hospitalizations associated with rotavirus gastroenteritis in Spain, 2001–2005

Ana López-de-Andrés*, Rodrigo Jiménez-García, Pilar Carrasco-Garrido, Alejandro Alvaro-Meca, Patricia Graciela Galarza and Ángel Gil de Miguel

Author Affiliations

Preventive Medicine and Public Health Teaching and Research Unit. Health Sciences Faculty. Rey Juan Carlos University. Avda de Atenas s/n, Alcorcón 28402 Madrid, Spain

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:109  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-109

Published: 8 April 2008



This study aims to describe and analyze hospital admissions in Spain due to rotavirus infections among children aged 5 years or under during the period 2001–2005, along with the associated health cost.


To update estimates of rotavirus hospitalizations rates in Spain, we conducted a retrospective study of 5 years of national hospitalization data associated with acute gastroenteritis using the Minimum Basic Data Set.


During the study period, a total of 17.1% of all admissions due to acute gastroenteritis of any etiology in children aged ≤ 5 years were attributable to rotavirus infection as determined by the rotavirus-specific International Classification of Diseases, ninth revision, Clinical Modification code. A mean incidence of 135 hospital admissions attributable to rotavirus per 100,000 children aged ≤ 5 years was found. Hospitalizations associated with rotavirus had a marked winter-time seasonality. The estimated cost of hospital admission attributable to rotavirus has risen from 3 million euros estimated for 2001 to almost 7 million euros estimated in 2005.


Rotavirus gastroenteritis remains an important cause of hospitalizations in Spanish children, mostly during the winter season.