Cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic kidney disease responsible for 20% of hospitalisations

Around 20% of all hospitalisations in Australia in 2012–13 were associated with cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, according to a new report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

The report, Cardiovascular disease, diabetes and chronic kidney disease―Australian facts: Morbidity looks at hospitalisations resulting from these three chronic diseases, acting alone or together.

The report shows the largest number of hospitalisations from these 3 diseases were those associated with chronic kidney disease, which accounted for 1.5 million hospitalisations. Among these, dialysis accounted for the overwhelming majority—almost 1.3 million hospitalisations—and was the most common reason for hospitalisation in Australia overall.

‘Over 1.2 million hospitalisations were associated with cardiovascular disease, with coronary heart disease accounting for 28% of cardiovascular disease hospitalisations, heart failure 11% and stroke 7%,’ said AIHW spokesperson Sushma Mathur.

Diabetes contributed to around 840,000 hospitalisations, and of these, 88% were associated with type 2 diabetes, 6% with type 1 diabetes and 4% with gestational diabetes.

‘These diseases often have similar underlying causes and features and often share common risk factors,’ Ms Mathur said.

Excluding dialysis, there were almost 390,000 hospitalisations in which one of these three diseases was reported in combination with at least one other. Of these, 72% involved two of the diseases and 28% involved all three. The most common combination of diseases was cardiovascular disease and diabetes, followed by a combination of all three.

Over the last 2 decades, there was a slight drop in the rate of hospitalisations due to cardiovascular disease, falling from 2,324 to 2,067 per 100,000 people between 1993–94 and 2012–13. Coronary heart disease and stroke hospitalisations fell at a greater rate, dropping by around one-third.

Between 2002–03 and 2012–13, the rate of hospitalisations for dialysis in Australia rose by 46%. Excluding dialysis, there was a 17% rise in chronic kidney hospitalisations.

The hospitalisation rates with a principal diagnosis of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, stroke and diabetes were higher among males than females. For chronic kidney disease (excluding dialysis), male and female rates were similar.

Although anyone can be affected by these diseases, men, older people, those living in remote areas or who are socioeconomically disadvantaged, and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have higher rates of hospitalisation from these three diseases. For example, Indigenous diabetes hospitalisation rates were 4 times those of Other Australians.

The AIHW is a major national agency set up by the Australian Government to provide reliable, regular and relevant information and statistics on Australia's health and welfare.


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