Sending More Americans to Hospital -- MEDICA - World Forum for Medicine

Sending More Americans to Hospital

The federal agency’s analysis also found that between 1999 and 2006 the hospitalisations for eating disorders rose most sharply for children under twelve years of age – 119 percent. The second steepest rise with an increase by 48 percent was for patients ages 45 to 64.

Hospitalisations for men also increased sharply – by 37 percent – but women continued to dominate hospitalisations for eating disorders (89 percent in 2006). Admissions for anorexia, the most common eating disorder, remained relatively stable. People with anorexia typically lose extreme amounts of weight by not eating enough food, over-exercising, self-inducing vomiting, or using laxatives.

In contrast, hospitalisations for bulimia declined seven percent. Bulimia – binge eating followed by purging by vomiting or use of laxatives – can lead to severe dehydration or stomach and intestinal problems.

Hospitalisations for less common eating disorders increased 38 percent. Those disorders include pica, an obsession with eating non-edible substances such as clay or plaster, and psychogenic vomiting, which is vomiting caused by anxiety and stress.

This AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data in the report “Hospitalizations for Eating Disorders from 1999 to 2006”. The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90 percent of all discharges in the United States and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.; Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)