The expanding burden of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension

Susan Mollan, Magda Aguiar, Felicity Evison, Emma Frew, Alexandra Sinclair

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Objective: To quantify the hospital burden and health economic impact of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension.

Methods: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) national data was extracted between 1st January 2002 and 31st December 2016. All those within England with a diagnosis of Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension were included. Those with secondary causes of raised intracranial pressure such as tumours, hydrocephalus and cerebral venous sinus thrombosis were excluded.

Results: 23,182 new IIH cases were diagnosed. 52% resided in the most socially deprived areas (quintiles 1 and 2). Incidence rose between 2002 to 2016 from 2.3 to 4.7 per 100,000 in the general population. Peak incidence occurred in females aged 25 (15.2 per 100,000). 91.6% were treated medically, 7.6% had a cerebrospinal fluid diversion procedure, 0.7% underwent bariatric surgery and 0.1% had optic nerve sheath fenestration. Elective caesarean sections rates were significantly higher in IIH (16%) compared to the general population (9%), p<0.005. Admission rates rose by 442% between 2002 and 2014, with 38% having repeated admissions in the year following diagnosis. Duration of hospital admission was 2.7 days (8.8 days for those having CSF diversion procedures). Costs rose from £9.2 to £50 million per annum over the study period with costs forecasts of £462 million per annum by 2030.

Conclusions: IIH incidence is rising (by greater than 100% over the study), highest in areas of social deprivation and mirroring obesity trends. Re-admissions rates are high and growing yearly. The escalating population and financial burden of IIH has wide reaching implications for the health care system.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2018


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