AHRQ: Hospital stays related to obesity hit 9% in U.S.

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weight, obesity, CV disease - 150.08 Kb
In 2009, there were 2.8 million hospital stays in which obesity was a principal or secondary diagnosis, accounting for more than 9 percent of hospital stays, which represents an increase from about 3 percent of hospital stays in 1996 and 6 percent of stays in 2004, according to a statistical brief published by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).

Ninety-five percent of obesity-related hospitalizations in 2009 involved obesity as a secondary diagnosis, wrote brief authors Audrey J. Weiss, PhD, and Anne Elixhauser, PhD, research scientists with AHRQ. Hospital stays with obesity as a secondary diagnosis increased from 5.3 percent of stays in 2004 to 8.9 percent of stays in 2009.

However, hospital stays with obesity as a principal diagnosis remained relatively stable at about 0.4 percent of stays between 2004 and 2009. The rate of hospitalization in 2009 was highest among females and patients ages 18 to 44 and 45 to 64.

AHRQ's brief, prepared by the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project, estimated that the aggregate costs for hospital stays where obesity was the secondary diagnosis in 2004 was $31.8 billion in 2009, compared with $15.6 billion in 2004—an increase of $16.2 billion.

For hospital stays with obesity as a principal diagnosis, the most common procedure performed in 2009 was bariatric surgery (89.3 percent of stays)—which was virtually unchanged from 2004. For hospital stays with obesity as a secondary diagnosis, Weiss and Elixhauser wrote that the most common principal diagnosis in 2009 was osteoarthritis, accounting for 5.6 percent of stays. This represents an increase from 4.4 percent of stays in 2004. Also, in 2004, coronary atherosclerosis was the most common principal diagnosis, accounting for 6.8 percent of all stays; it decreased 37 percent to become the third most common diagnosis in 2009.

The brief estimated that the aggregate costs for hospital stays where obesity was the principal diagnosis in 2004 was $1.6 billion in 2009, compared with $1.7 billion in 2004.

For hospital stays with obesity as a secondary diagnosis, the rate of hospitalization in 2009 increased with age and was highest among females and patients in the Midwest.