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Hospitalizations for Medication and Illicit Drug-Related Conditions on the Rise Among Americans Ages 45 and Older

Electronic Newsletter, Issue 299

October 28, 2010

AHRQ News and Numbers

Between 2000 and 2007, the death rate for men treated in hospitals for stroke tumbled by 29 percent compared to a 24 percent decline for women. The death rate for men went from 123 in every 1,000 admissions for stroke in 2000 to 87 per 1000 admissions in 2009, compared with women's 127 deaths per 1,000 stroke admissions in 2000 to 96 deaths per 1,000 in 2007. [Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, HCUP Statistical Brief #98: Trends in Hospital Risk-Adjusted Mortality for Select Diagnoses by Patient Subgroups, 2000—2007 (PDF File, Plugin Software Help)

Today's Headlines

  1. Hospitalizations for medication and illicit drug-related conditions on the rise among Americans ages 45 and older
  2. ACTION II Partnerships awards announced
  3. 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample released
  4. What's new at AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange
  5. AHRQ in the professional literature

1. Hospitalizations for Medication and Illicit Drug-Related Conditions on the Rise Among Americans Ages 45 and Older

The number of hospital admissions among Americans ages 45 and older for medication and drug-related conditions doubled between 1997 and 2008, according to a new AHRQ report. Medication and drug-related conditions include effects of both prescription and over-the-counter medications as well as illicit drugs. Hospital admissions among those 45 years and older were driven by growth in discharges for three types of medication and drug-related conditions—drug-induced delirium; "poisoning" or overdose by codeine, meperidine and other opiate-based pain medicines; and withdrawal from narcotic or non-narcotic drugs. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration helped support the analysis of the data in the report on hospital care for mental health and substance abuse disorders. The new AHRQ report also shows that Medicare and Medicaid were responsible for 57 percent of the $1.1 billion cost to hospitals in 2008 for treating patients with medication and drug-related conditions, private insurance covered 24 percent, and the uninsured accounted for 14 percent. The remaining 5 percent of hospital costs for treating these conditions were borne by other sources such as TRICARE. Select to read our press release and to access the report.

2. ACTION II Partnerships Awards Announced

AHRQ announced seventeen new Accelerating Change and Transformation in Organizations and Networks II (ACTION II) Partnerships awards. ACTION II is a five-year task order contract model of practice-based implementation research. Its seventeen awardees and their partnerships include a total of over 350 collaborating organizations. Collectively, the Partnerships, which span all States, provide access and care to an estimated 50 percent of the U.S. population, representing a broad geographic, demographic and payer mix for care recipients. The 17 Partnerships are composed of diverse organizations involved in health care delivery, including: inpatient, ambulatory and long-term care health care providers (including integrated delivery systems and Federally Qualified Health Centers/safety nets), health plans, health services research organizations/networks, consumer and patient safety groups, professional or trade associations/organizations, and quality Improvement organizations. Select to access the fact sheet.

3. 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample Released

AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) released the 2008 Nationwide Emergency Department Sample (NEDS). The 2008 NEDS contains the largest all-payer emergency department database in the United States. The NEDS was created to enable analyses of emergency department utilization patterns and support public health professionals, administrators, policymakers, and clinicians in their understanding and decision-making regarding this critical source of health care. The NEDS has many research applications as it contains information on hospital characteristics, patient characteristics, geographic region and the nature of the emergency visits (e.g., common reasons, including injuries). The database includes information on all visits to the emergency department regardless of payer—including people covered by Medicare, Medicaid, private insurance, and the uninsured. Statistics from the NEDS are available on HCUPnet. More information about the NEDS can be found on the HCUP-US Web site. The 2008 NEDS can be purchased through the HCUP Central Distributor.

4. What's New at AHRQ Health Care Innovations Exchange?

AHRQ's Health Care Innovations Exchange announces a Web seminar, titled New Approaches to Pediatric Obesity: Helping Families Help Kids on November 18 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm ET that will explore how to help obese children and adolescents lose weight and keep it off. Family involvement is key, according to presenters Lori Stark, Ph.D., from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, Ohio and Joseph Skelton, M.D., from Brenner Children's Hospital/Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C. Join us for a discussion on their family-centered innovations and new approaches to treating childhood obesity. Sarah Hampl, M.D., Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics, Kansas City, Missouri will moderate. The family-centered innovations will be available November 10 on the Innovations Exchange Web Site for review prior to the Web seminar.

5. AHRQ in the Professional Literature

We are providing the following hyperlinks to journal abstracts through PubMed® for your convenience. Unfortunately, some of you may not be able to access the abstracts because of firewalls or specific settings on your individual computer systems. If you are having problems, you should ask your technical support staff for possible remedies.

Galbraith AA, Smith LA, Bokhour B, Miroshnik IL, Sawicki GS, et al. Asthma care quality for children with minority-serving providers. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med 2010 Jan;164(1):38-45. Select to access the abstact on PubMed.®

Collier B, Dossett L, Shipman J, et al. Visceral adiposity is not associated with inflammatory markers in trauma patients. J Trauma 2010 Jan;68(1):57-61. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Lin H, Liu D, Zhou XH. A correlated random-effects model for normal longitudinal data with nonignorable missingness. Stat Med 2010 Jan 30;29(2):236-47. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Pervez MA, Silva G, Masrur S, et al. Remote supervision of IV-tPA for acute ischemic stroke by telemedicine or telephone before transfer to regional stroke center is feasible and safe. Stroke 2010 Jan; 41(1):e18-e24. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Santucci AK, Gold MA, Akers AY, et al. Women's perspectives on counseling about risks for medication-induced birth defects. Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 2010 Jan;88(1):64-9. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Anderson KA, Taha RD, Hosier AF. Know thy residents: an exploration of long-term care nursing staff's knowledge. Res Gerontol Nurs 2009 Jan;2(1):69-76. Select to access the abstract on PubMed.®

Contact Information

Please address comments and questions regarding the AHRQ Electronic Newsletter to Nancy Comfort at or (301) 427-1866.

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Page last reviewed October 2010
Internet Citation: Hospitalizations for Medication and Illicit Drug-Related Conditions on the Rise Among Americans Ages 45 and Older. October 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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