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Public Health Reports: Mental Health and Substance Use–Related Hospitalizations Among Women of Reproductive Age in Illinois and Wisconsin

In a recent article in Public Health Reports, Drs. Amanda C. Bennett and Angela M. Rohan from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Ms. Crystal Gibson from Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and Dr. Kristin M. Rankin and Ms. Julia F. Howland from the University of Illinois at Chicago used administrative data to develop a standardized indicator which identified inpatient hospitalizations linked to mental health or substance use (MHSU) among reproductive-aged women and the co-occurrence of substance use and mental health among those hospitalizations. Inpatient hospital discharge data was retrieved from 2012-2014 for women aged 15-44 living in Illinois and Wisconsin. Hospitalizations were classified as a substance use disorder, a mental disorder, or an acute MHSU-related event. Co-occurrence was defined as the presence of both substance use and mental health codes. Results indicated that 12.8 percent of hospitalizations in the study population were related to a substance use disorder, a mental disorder, or an acute MHSU-related event. Of MHSU-related hospitalizations, 42.4 percent had co-occurring substance use codes and mental health codes on the discharge record. The authors concluded that the new indicator introduced in the study may improve public health surveillance by creating a comprehensive and systematic method of measuring the issue of MHSU-related hospitalizations among reproductive-aged women.

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Public Health Reports (PHR) is the official journal of the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General and the U.S. Public Health Service and has been published since 1878. It is published bimonthly, plus supplement issues, through an official agreement with the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health. PHR’s mission is to facilitate the movement of science into public health practice and policy to positively affect the health and wellness of the American public.

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