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Hospitalizations for Patients with Depression on the Increase

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: November 14, 2007

The rate of admissions for patients who are hospitalized for other conditions but who also suffer from depression nearly tripled from 93 to 247 admissions per 10,000 between 1995 and 2005, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

During the same period, the hospitalization rate for patients who were admitted solely for treatment of depression remained relatively stable-falling slightly from 45 to 42 admissions per 10,000 people.

AHRQ also found that:

  • Over the decade, the number of hospital stays in which the secondary diagnosis was depression increased from 930,000 to nearly 2.5 million.
  • Patients who had a secondary diagnosis of depression were 3.5 times more likely to be admitted for a primary diagnosis of alcohol and substance abuse than patients who did not have depression.
  • One in 10 patients who had depression was admitted primarily for heart or circulatory conditions, such as congestive heart failure, hardening of the arteries, stroke, or nonspecific chest pain.
  • The 2.9 million hospital stays in 2005 in which depression was a co-existing or primary illness cost nearly $22 billion.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Hospital Stays Related to Depression. The report uses statistics from the Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured. The authors used AHRQ's Inpatient Quality Indicators to determine the in-hospital, risk-adjusted death rates.

For more information about AHRQ's hospital care data, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of November 2007


The information on this page is archived and provided for reference purposes only.


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