Objective: To determine reasons for hospitalization among adult patients with diabetes.
Methods: A cross-sectional analysis was conducted of hospital discharges in the state of Georgia for the years 1998 through 2001 that contained either a primary or a coexisting diagnosis of diabetes. With use of the Clinical Classification Software of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the principal diagnoses among diabetes-related hospital discharges were organized into diagnostic categories.
Results: Diabetes was listed as a diagnosis in 14% of all Georgia hospital discharges of adult patients during our study period (57% women; 62% non-Hispanic white; mean age, 64 years; mean length of stay, 5.7 days; and mean hospital charge, 13,540 dollars). Among patients with a diagnosis of diabetes, the 3 most common categories of discharges were "diseases of the circulatory system" (33%), "endocrine, nutritional, and metabolic; immunity disorders" (13%), and "diseases of the respiratory system: (11%). When infections were identified and aggregated, however, these conditions became the second most frequent discharge category (14% of all hospital discharges among patients with diabetes). "Congestive heart failure," "coronary atherosclerosis," and "acute myocardial infarction" were the first, second, and fifth most frequently found unique diagnoses, respectively, among patients with diabetes.
Conclusion: In this study, diseases of the circulatory system were the most common diagnoses in hospital discharge data for adult patients with diabetes in Georgia. Hospitals should be cognizant of the increased burden placed on them by diabetes, and outpatient treatment of diabetes should focus on prevention of cardiovascular diseases to avoid hospitalizations.