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More than One in Five Hospital Patients in 2008 Were Born in 1933 or Earlier

AHRQ News and Numbers, December 22, 2010

AHRQ News and Numbers provides statistical highlights on the use and cost of health services and health insurance in the United States.

Twenty-two percent of all admissions to U.S. hospitals in 2008 were for patients born the year that Franklin D. Roosevelt was first inaugurated President of the United States or earlier, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Those who ranged in age from 75 to 84 years accounted for almost 14 percent of the 40 million admissions to U.S. hospitals that year, while patients age 85 and over made up another 8 percent.

Together these most senior of America's seniors accounted for 8.7 million hospital admissions in 2008 compared with the 5.3 million admissions of relatively younger seniors-those between 65 and 74 years of age.

The Federal agency also found that in U.S. hospitals in 2008:

  • Treating patients age 75 and older cost hospitals more than $92 billion, compared with $65 billion for patients ages 65 to 74.
  • People age 85 and older were more than twice as likely to be hospitalized as people age 65 to 74 (577 versus 264 stays per 1,000 population). They were also nearly 3 times more likely to require nursing home or other type of long-term care after leaving the hospital.
  • Congestive heart failure was the number one reason for hospitalizing people age 85 and older—44 stays per 1,000 population. Other leading reasons were pneumonia, blood poisoning, urinary tract infections, and heart rhythm disorders—36, 27, 24, and 23 stays per 1,000 population, respectively.
  • For people age 75 to 84, the top five reasons for hospitalization per 1,000 population were: congestive heart failure (23 stays); pneumonia (20 stays); heart rhythm disorders (17 stays); blood poisoning (16 stays); and osteoarthritis (15 stays).

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in Hospital Utilization among Oldest Adults, 2008 (PDF file, 295 KB; Plugin Software Help). The report uses data from the 2008 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays in all short-term, nonfederal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.

For more information, contact Bob Isquith at (301-427-1539).

Current as of December 2010
Internet Citation: More than One in Five Hospital Patients in 2008 Were Born in 1933 or Earlier: AHRQ News and Numbers, December 22, 2010. December 2010. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD.


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


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