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Pneumonia Most Common Reason for Hospitalization

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: July 2, 2008

More than 1.2 million Americans—roughly equivalent to the population of Dallas—were hospitalized for pneumonia in 2006, making this lung infection the most common reason for admission to the hospital other than for childbirth, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Treating pneumonia cost hospitals $10 billion in 2006. The disease, which can be especially deadly among the elderly, occurs when the lungs fill with fluid from infection or inflammation caused by bacteria or a virus.

AHRQ's new analysis of 2006 hospitalizations estimated admissions and hospitals' costs for other common conditions:

  • Hardening of the arteries—admissions: 1,198,000, costs: $17 billion.
  • Congestive heart failure—admissions: 1,099,000, costs: $11 billion.
  • Chest pain—admissions: 857,000, costs: $4 billion.
  • Injuries to the mother during birth—admissions: 818,000, costs: $2 billion.
  • Other complications of labor and delivery—admissions: 767,000, costs: $3 billion.
  • Heart rhythm problems—admissions: 749,000, costs: $7 billion.
  • Osteoarthritis—admissions: 735,000, costs: $10 billion.
  • Heart attack—admissions: 675,000, costs: $12 billion.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on 2006 data in HCUPnet, AHRQ's free, online query system based on data from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project. HCUPnet provides reporters and others fast and easy access to health statistics on hospital inpatient and emergency department utilization.

For other information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of July 2008


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


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