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More Women in Emergency Room for Kidney Stones
Cost of visits increasing while hospitalization rates are stable

FRIDAY, Aug. 30 (HealthDay News) -- Since 2006, more women have been going to the emergency department with kidney stones, while the cost of visits has steadily increased and hospitalization rates have remained stable, according to a study published online Aug. 8 in The Journal of Urology.

Khurshid R. Ghani, M.D., from the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, and colleagues analyzed 2006 to 2009 data from the Nationwide Emergency Department Sample on trends in visits, hospitalization, and charges for patients with upper urinary tract stones seen in emergency departments in the United States.

The researchers found that there were a total of 3,635,054 visits for upper urinary tract stones, with the incidence increasing from 289 to 306 per 100,000 patients. Emergency department visits by women increased by an estimated annual percent change of 2.85 percent. Hospitalization rates remained largely stable at 12.0 percent, with sepsis increasing the probability of admission (odds ratio, 69.64). Hospitalization was significantly more common for females, sicker patients, those seen in an urban teaching or low-volume hospital, and those with Medicaid or Medicare. The cost of visits increased to $5 billion in 2009, with an annual percent change of 10.06 percent.

"Women demonstrated significant annual increases in emergency department visits for upper urinary tract stones," Ghani and colleagues conclude. "While emergency department charges have risen substantially, hospitalization rates have remained stable."

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