Females represented 59.9 percent of the 34.9 million short-stay hospital discharges in 2006. Nearly 20 percent of hospital stays for all females were due to childbirth, while 14.6 percent were due to diseases of the circulatory system. Other common reasons for hospitalization included diseases of the respiratory, digestive, and genitourinary systems; injury and poisoning; and mental disorders. Overall, females had a higher hospital discharge rate than males in 2006 (1,375.3 versus 954.9 per 10,000 population; data not shown).
The types of procedures conducted during short hospital stays also vary by sex. Overall procedure rates were 1,811.5 procedures per 10,000 females (this includes 466.4 obstetrical procedures per 10,000 females) and 1,261.5 procedures per 10,000 males. Several of the procedures more common among females included operations on the digestive system (207.0 per 10,000 females versus 166.0 per 10,000 males) and operations on the genital organs, including hysterectomy for women (129.0 versus 17.1 per 10,000, respectively). Males had a higher rate than females for operations on the cardiovascular system (280.9 versus 205.6 per 10,000, respectively). Among females, the highest rate of procedures for discharges from short-stay hospitals was obstetrical procedures (466.4 per 10,000).