Injuries top hospitalisations
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Patient statistics2012



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Injuries top hospitalisations

In 2012, one out of every three persons living in Norway had at least one treatment in a general hospital. The most common cause of patient treatment was the diagnostic group injuries and poisonings, followed by diseases of the muscular, skeletal and connective tissues.

Number of persons with at least one treatment at general hospitals, by sex. 20121
 In totalMenWomen
1One person can have received treatment at more than one level of care. Only Norwegian residents are included.
Total number of patients at general hospitals1 763 265809 597953 668
In-patients577 715255 172322 543
Number of patients with day cases207 73090 928116 802
Out-patients1 558 445710 624847 821
Number of patients at general hospitals, by age and gender. 2012

In total, more than 1 750 000 patients were treated or examined at general hospitals in 2012. More women than men go to hospital, and that applies to all three levels of care : in-patient stays, day cases and out-patient consultations. Slightly more than 800 000 men and 950 000 women were admitted to hospitals. The gender differences were largest for in-patients and day case patients.

Women outnumber men among adults at hospitals

Among persons under 20 years of age, more boys than girls are treated in hospital. There are more boys than girls in this age group in the population. In addition, young boys tend to be more at risk of diseases than girls and they also get injured more frequently. The high number of persons aged 0-9 years in hospital must be seen as a consequence of all newborns being registered as patients regardless of their health status.

In all the other age groups, more women than men go to hospital. Women of a fertile age in particular are hospitalised much more than their male counterparts. A large part of this difference is related to pregnancies and giving birth. For the age groups from 50 up to 80 years, the distinction is less between the genders. For the eldest, however, the difference is huge, but this is due to the fact that there are many more women than men aged 80 years and up. The profile of the need for hospital services changes when taking into account the number of inhabitants in each age group. It is only natural, therefore, that the eldest group has the highest proportion of persons attending hospital.

Cardiovascular disorders most frequent diagnosis for in-patients

If we consider all levels of care in total, the diagnostic group injuries and poisonings was the most frequent cause of patients ' contact with the hospital. Almost 300 000 patients had this as their main diagnosis for at least one of their treatments. Correspondingly, about 290 000 patients had diseases of the muscular-skeleton system or connective tissue.

In-patient stays are the most resource-intensive level of care at general hospitals, and here they treat the most serious diseases.

In 2012, almost 578 000 patients was treated at in-patient stays in general hospitals. About 45 000 of these were healthy newborns. The number of in-patient stays was in total 880 500, giving an average of around 1.5 stays per patient.

Common reasons why patients were treated at in-patient stays were the main diagnostic groups cardiovascular disorders, injuries and poisonings, pregnancy, childbirth and the post natal, diseases of the respiratory system and cancer. The same person may be treated for several disorders in the figures.

Treatment for cardiovascular disorders had the highest number of patients in in-patient stays, with nearly 78 000. Fifty-eight per cent of these patients were men. These disorders particularly occur among the middle aged and the elderly, and occur earlier in life for men than women.

A total of 12 000 patients were treated for a heart attack, 12 000 for a stroke and 16 000 for heart rhythm disturbances.

Women get cancer younger than men

Nearly 42 000 patients were treated at in-patient stays for cancer and benign tumours. There were more women than men, with almost 53 per cent women. Cancer is a disorder that is associated with aging, but occurs in earlier ages for women than men. This is due, in particular, to the fact that breast cancer, which is the most frequent form of cancer among women, debuts earlier than cancer of the male male genitalia, which is the most frequent form of cancer among men.

Almost 3 400 women were treated for breast cancer and almost 4 000 men for cancer of the male genitalia. Many patients were also treated for cancer of the digestive organs (7 300), cancer of the respiratory organs (3 500) and cancer of the urinary system (3 300).

Children and the elderly have respiratory diseases

Nearly 53 000 patients were treated for diseases of the respiratory organs, slightly more men than women. Most of the patients were children and the elderly. A total of 23 500 patients were treated for pneumonia and influenza, and over 10 000 patients of acute infections of the respiratory system.

Older women at risk of fractures of the thigh bone

Around 76 500 patients were treated for injuries and poisonings; about the same number of men and women. Young men and older women are especially susceptible to injuries. A total of 14 500 patients were being treated for injuries to their arms, 10 300 for a fracture of the femur, 8 500 for intracranial injuries and 5 200 were treated for poisoning. Fifty-nine per cent of the patients with femoral fractures were women aged 70 years and over.

More activity and shorter stays in hospitals

In 2012, there were just over 880 000 in-patient stays in general hospitals for persons residing in Norway. This was an increase of 2.1 per cent from 2011. Almost half of the increase was due to a new unit being defined as a hospital. The average length of stay for in-patient stays has continuously been decreasing. The decline was larger than normal from 2011 to 2012; from 4.4 days to 4.1 days. Some of the decline might be linked to a reform introduced in 2012 for more interaction between the specialist health service and the municipalities. The patient’s municipality is responsible for funding hospital treatment for residents who are ready for discharge, but remain in the hospital, and many municipalities have therefore improved their capacity locally for this patient group.

There was also an increase in activity in the other levels of care in 2012. The number of day cases went up by 2.3 per cent from 2011 to 423 000 cases. The increase in the number of out-patient consultations was 3.2 per cent, to 5 017 000.

Differences from the Norwegian Patient Register Open and readClose

The patient statistics from Statistics Norway are based on data from the Norwegian Directorate of Health’s Norwegian Patient Register (NPR). The population for the patient statistics in Statistics Norway covers the activity in general hospitals according to the definition in the Register of Business Enterprises. This definition deviates somewhat from the population that the NPR uses in its statistics, which covers all institutions with activity-based financing.