Potentially preventable hospitalization rates fall among elderly

At least for some conditions, the rate of potentially preventable hospitalizations has fallen faster for patients ages 65 and above than for younger adults, according to a new report from the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research.

According to the report, hospital stay rates fell for angina (without procedure), congestive heart failure and diabetes during 2007. (Diabetes-related hospitalizations among younger adults actually climbed during the same period, the agency said.)

Other conditions are proving more difficult to manage among the elderly. Rates of potentially preventable hospitalizations for diabetes, chronic respiratory conditions, acute conditions and cardiac conditions remained higher for the elderly than younger people.

Overall, though, hospitalization rates among the elderly remain high. One-third of all hospitalizations in 2007 were elderly adults, the agency reported.

To get more statistics from the AHRQ:
- read this report (.pdf)

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