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Pulmonary heart disease hospitalizations increase by more than half between 1997 and 2005

Hospital admissions for people with chronic pulmonary heart disease rose from 301,400 to 456,500 stays between 1997 and 2005—an increase of more than 50 percent—according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Pulmonary heart disease is a serious, often deadly lung blood vessel disorder that can cause shortness of breath, fatigue, chest pain, dizzy spells, and fainting.

Most patients have an underlying heart or lung disorder. AHRQ data found that:

  • About 20,000 hospital patients died from chronic pulmonary heart disease in 2005 (4.4 percent). This was two times higher than the overall death rate for all hospital patients (2.2 percent).
  • Women accounted for 6 of every 10 hospital stays of patients with pulmonary heart disease.
  • Hospitalizations for pulmonary heart disease cost $5.6 billion in 2005. A stay for a patient with this condition averaged $12,400 as compared with the $8,100 overall average cost of a hospital stay.

Additional information can be found in Hospital Stays Involving Pulmonary Heart Disease, 2005 (

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.

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