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Hospitalization

Narrative

In 2009, there were over 3.1 million hospital discharges among people aged 1‒21 years, equaling 3.6 hospital discharges per 100 children, adolescents and young adults. While injuries are the leading cause of death among this age group, they were not the most common cause of hospitalization. In 2009, diseases of the respiratory system, including asthma and pneumonia, were the most common causes of hospitalization among children aged 1‒4 and 5‒9 years. Among children aged 1-4 years, diseases of the respiratory system accounted for nearly 40 percent of discharges; the same was true for about one-quarter of 5-9 year-olds. Mental disorders were the most common cause of hospitalization among children aged 10‒14 years (22.5 percent of discharges) and the second most common cause among adolescents aged 15-19 years (15.7 percent of discharges) and young adults aged 20‒21 years (8.4 percent). Among adolescents aged 15-19 years and young adults aged 20‒21 years, labor and delivery (among females) was the most common cause of hospitalization resulting 49.6 and 62.3 percent of discharges, respectively.

Between 1990 and 2009, overall hospital discharge rates for children aged 1-14 years did not change significantly. However, there was a change in the rates for some of the most common individual categories of discharges: the rate of discharges for diseases of the respiratory system increased by 19.6 percent between 1990 and 2009, while discharges related to injury and poisoning decreased by 31.5 percent during the same period.

Graphs

This image is described in the Data section.

major hospitalization causes graph

Data

Major Causes of Hospitalization, by Age, 2009
Age Group Cause Average Number of Discharges per Year
(in thousands)
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Hospital Discharge Survey, Annual File 2009. Unpublished data.
Total Pregnancy/Childbirth 759
Diseases of the Respiratory System 418
Mental Disorders 354
Injury and Poisoning 287
Ages 1-4 Diseases of the Respiratory System 221
Endocrine, Metabolic, and Immunity Diseases and Disorders 53
Injury and Poisoning 50
Diseases of the Nervous System and Sense Organs 37
Ages 5-9 Diseases of the Respiratory System 89
Diseases of the Digestive System 45
Injury and Poisoning 32
Diseases of the Nervous System and Sense Organs 24
Ages 10-14 Mental Disorders 99
Injury and Poisoning 55
Diseases of the Digestive System 53
Diseases of the Respiratory System 41
Ages 15-19 Pregnancy/Childbirth 415
Mental Disorders 175
Injury and Poisoning 102
Diseases of the Digestive System 67
Ages 20-21 Pregnancy/Childbirth 340
Mental Disorders 55
Complications of Pregnancy/Childbirth 54
Injury and Poisoning 48

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