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Hospitalizations for Patients Aged 85 and Over in the United States, 2000-2010

The oldest adults — those aged 85 and over — represented 2% of the U.S. population in 2010 but accounted for 9% of all hospital discharges and 11% of inpatient days. As the population ages, it’s estimated that the 85+ age group will grow from 14% of the senior population in 2010 to over 21% by 2050. This demographic group will likely account for a greater share of hospital use and costs in the future. These are some of the findings from a new report from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Other highlights from the report are:

  • The hospitalization rate for those 85 and older was 553 per 1000 population, over five times higher than the adults under age 65 group.
  • However, the age 85+ hospitalization rate declined by 9% between 2000 and 2010.
  • Unsurprisingly, the very old were less likely to be discharged home and more apt to die during the hospital stay.
  • In 2000 and 2005, pneumonia was the most frequent primary diagnosis for hospitalization among the very old, but in 2010 the most common diagnosis was congestive heart failure. While both pneumonia and congestive heart failure hospitalization rates declined between 2000 and 2010, septicemia and urinary tract infection hospitalization rates increased significantly for this age group.
  • Injury rates for those aged 85 or more, were 51 per 1000 population, with hip fracture the most common injury.

Source: Levant S; Karishma C; DeFrances CJ. Hospitalizations for patients aged 85 and over in the United States, 2000-2010. NCHS [National Center for Health Statistics] Data Brief, no. 182, Jan. 2015. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/databriefs/db187.pdf

Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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