The expanding burden of idiopathic intracranial hypertension.

Mollan, Susan P, Aguiar, Magda, Evison, Felicity, Frew, Emma and Sinclair, Alexandra J (2019) The expanding burden of idiopathic intracranial hypertension. Eye (London, England), 33 (3). pp. 478-485. ISSN 1476-5454.

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To quantify the hospital burden and health economic impact of idiopathic intracranial hypertension.


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.


A total of 23,182 new IIH cases were diagnosed. Fifty-two percent resided in the most socially deprived areas (quintiles 1 and 2). Incidence rose between 2002 and 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.


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.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WL Nervous system. Neurology
WW Eyes. Ophthalmology
Divisions: Ambulatory Care > Ophthalmology
Emergency Services > Neurology
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Beth Connors
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 10:22
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2021 10:58

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