More Hispanics Hospitalized for Preventable Hospitalizations

Hispanic adults from both poor and wealthy communities are much more likely than whites to be hospitalized for health problems that good quality outpatient care can prevent or control, such as uncontrolled diabetes and heart ailments, according to the latest report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Wealthy communities in this report have average annual household incomes of $62,000 or greater.

AHRQ's analysis found that in 2006:

  • Hispanic adults were more than two times as likely as white adults to be hospitalized for uncontrolled diabetes and its complications such as leg or foot amputations, glaucoma, and other eye problems and kidney failure.

  • Hispanic adults were almost 1.5 times more likely than whites to be hospitalized for congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, and heart pain known as angina.
  • In contrast, hospitalization rates were about the same for Hispanics and whites with chronic respiratory conditions (asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).
  • In wealthy communities, Hispanics were 1.8 times more likely to be hospitalized for diabetes complications and nearly one-fifth more likely to be admitted for heart ailments than whites. The ratios were similar in the poorest communities.

The report uses statistics from a special disparities analysis file created from the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP) 2006 State Inpatient Databases (SID). This file is designed to provide national estimates on disparities for the National Healthcare Disparities Report using weighted records from a sample of hospitals with good reporting of race and ethnicity from 24 states.

For details, see HCUP Statistical Brief # 61, Potentially Preventable Hospitalizations among Hispanic Adults, 2006 (www.hcup-us.ahrq.gov/reports/statbriefs/sb61.pdf).

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