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Americans in Poor Communities Are 80 Percent More Likely to Be Hospitalized for Diabetes

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AHRQ News and Numbers

Release date: September 5, 2007

People who live in nation's poorest communities are 80 percent more likely to be hospitalized for the treatment of diabetes or its complications than people who live in more affluent areas, according to the latest News and Numbers summary from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Poor communities are defined as having an average income of less than $37,000 and affluent communities have an average income of $61,000 or more.

AHRQ found that in 2005:

  • There were nearly 2,800 diabetes-related hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the poorest communities, compared with 1,561 similar hospitalizations per 100,000 people in more affluent communities.
  • Hospital admissions for patients with diabetes increased by 85 percent (3.5 million to 6.5 million) between 1993 and 2005. These admissions accounted for 17 percent of all hospital cases in 2005.
  • Some 10,000 per 100,000 patients ages 65 years and older with diabetes were hospitalized. This rate is about five times the national average (2,200 hospitalizations per 100,000 population).
  • At 1,585 per 100,000 people, the diabetes hospitalization rate in the West was nearly 40 percent lower than the rate for all other regions of the country, which averaged 2,200 hospitalizations per 100,000 population.

This AHRQ News & Numbers summary is based on data in HCUP Facts and Figures (PDF Help), which provides highlights of the latest data from AHRQ's Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) on a range of hospital inpatient care subjects, including leading reasons for hospitalization, such as childbirth, diabetes, and heart conditions; weight-loss, cardiac and other surgical procedures; and hospital costs.

To speak with an AHRQ data expert, or for information from previous AHRQ News and Numbers summaries, contact Bob Isquith at or call (301) 427-1539.

Current as of September 2007


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