QCOR: Decrease in Hospital Admissions From 1998 to 2008

Greater decline in the proportion and number of hospitalizations for cardiac conditions

FRIDAY, May 13 (HealthDay News) -- The number and proportion of leading causes of hospital admissions decreased between 1998 and 2008, except for cardiac arrhythmias and chronic bronchitis, according to a study presented at the American Heart Association's Quality of Care and Outcomes Research in Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke 2011 Scientific Sessions, held from May 12 to 14 in Washington, D.C.

Amit H. Sachdev, Ph.D., from Yale University in New Haven, Conn., and colleagues investigated the change in the proportion and total number of cardiac hospitalizations relative to other leading causes. Data from Medicare Provider Analysis and Review files from 1998 to 2008 were analyzed to identify the leading causes of hospitalization among 11 million Medicare beneficiaries hospitalized during 1998. For each condition, they determined the annual proportion and total number of hospital admissions.

The investigators identified eight leading causes of hospitalization in 1998. By 2008, the proportion and number of admissions decreased in six of these, and increased in two. The proportion and absolute number of hospitalizations for cardiac causes decreased by 16.8 and 7.27 percent for heart failure, 31.7 and 23.9 percent for ischemic heart disease, and 22.2 and 13.1 percent for acute myocardial infarction, but increased by 10.5 and 28.2 percent, respectively, for cardiac arrhythmia. The proportion and number of admissions for noncardiac causes decreased by 18.9 and 9.5 percent for pneumonia, 11.6 and 1.3 percent for femur neck fracture, and 14.5 and 4.4 percent for fluid and electrolyte disorders, but increased by 8.5 and 21.1 percent, respectively, for chronic bronchitis.

"From 1998 to 2008, the eight leading causes of hospitalization decreased as a proportion and total number of hospitalizations, except for cardiac arrhythmias and chronic bronchitis. In general, the rate of decline was greater for cardiac than noncardiac conditions," the authors write.

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