Angioedema deaths in the United States, 1979-2010

BACKGROUND: Hospital admission data indicate that the angioedema incidence has increased during the past several decades. Little is known about mortality trends.

OBJECTIVES: To count the number of deaths associated with angioedema in the United States, investigate correlations with age, sex, race, and other contributory causes, and analyze trends from 1979 to 2010. METHODS: All US death certificates in which angioedema was listed as an underlying or contributing cause of death during 1979 to 2010 were analyzed. Age-adjusted mortality rates were analyzed by age, sex, and race. Other conditions designated as the underlying cause of death were investigated.

RESULTS: From 1979 to 2010, there were 5,758 deaths in which angioedema was listed as a contributing cause. The age-adjusted death rate for hereditary angioedema decreased from 0.28 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.25-0.32) to 0.06 (95% CI 0.05-0.08) per million persons per year. Conversely, mortality for angioedema increased from 0.24 (95% CI 0.21-0.27) to 0.34 (95% CI 0.31-0.37) per million. Blacks constituted 55% of angioedema deaths that were associated with use of angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors. On death certificates that listed hereditary angioedema as the underlying cause of death, cancer (frequently lymphoma or leukemia) was the second most commonly listed cause.

CONCLUSION: Angioedema-associated deaths were very rare from 1979 to 2010. Hereditary angioedema deaths became even more so, whereas nonhereditary angioedema deaths increased. Risks associated with angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors were higher in blacks. Lack of specific coding for acquired angioedema most likely explains the observed association between cancer and hereditary angioedema. In the future, more granular coding systems may help distinguish hereditary from acquired angioedema.Copyright © 2014 American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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