Females represented 60.3 percent of the nearly 34 million short-stay hospital discharges in 2002. Among all hospital discharges among females, women aged 15-44 years accounted for 38.5 percent, due in part to hospitalizations for childbirth, while women 65 years and older accounted for another 36.4 percent. Nearly one-fifth of discharges for all females were for childbirth, and one-quarter of all procedures performed on females were obstetrical in nature. Other common diagnoses were diseases of the circulatory system (16 percent of female discharges), diseases of the respiratory system, and diseases of the digestive system (9 percent each).Overall, females had a higher hospital discharge rate than males (1,388 compared to 952.3 per 10,000 population). Differences existed between the discharge rate of males and females for every category of primary diagnosis and for every type of procedure performed. Several of the diagnoses for which women had a higher discharge rate than men included diseases of the digestive system (126.5 compared to 104.3 per 10,000 population), genitourinary system diseases, such as kidney diseases (85.8 compared to 39.8 per 10,000), and neoplasms (70.5 compared to 46.2 per 10,000). Most commonly, women were discharged for obstetrical procedures (453.6 per 10,000). The discharge rate of females was higher for almost all of the most common procedures, including operations on the digestive system, operations on the musculoskeletal system, and operations on the integumentary system, such as treatments for wounds or burns.

Graph: Discharges from Non Federal Short Stay Hospitals by Sex and Primary Diagnosis[d]

Graph: Discharges from Non Federal Short Stay Hospitals by Sex and Procedure Category[d]