Prevalence of Malignant Hyperthermia Due to Anesthesia in New York State, 2001–2005

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BACKGROUND:Malignant hyperthermia (MH) is a pharmacogenetic syndrome that variably expresses itself on exposure to triggering agents. MH prevalence in the United States is not well documented. In this study, we assessed the prevalence of MH in New York State hospitals.METHODS:Using New York hospital discharge data for the years 2001 through 2005, we identified all patients with a diagnosis of MH due to anesthesia using International Classification of Diseases, Ninth Revision, Clinical Modification code 995.86. MH prevalence was evaluated by demographic and clinical characteristics.RESULTS:Of the 12,749,125 discharges from New York hospitals during the study period, 73 patients had a recorded diagnosis of MH due to anesthesia. Nearly three quarters of the MH patients were male and 71% were patients from emergency/urgent admissions. The estimated prevalence rate of MH was 0.96 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.67–1.24) per 100,000 surgical discharges and 1.08 (95% CI 0.75–1.41) per 100,000 discharges in which there was any indication of exposure to anesthesia. The estimated prevalence of MH for males was 2.5 to 4.5 times the rate for females.CONCLUSION:The prevalence of MH due to anesthesia in surgical patients treated in New York State hospitals is approximately 1 per 100,000. MH risk in males is significantly higher than in females.

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