AHRQ study looks at admissions from ED

Fifty-five percent of admissions to the nation's community hospitals for conditions other than pregnancy, childbirth, and neonatal care begin in the hospital emergency department, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reports.

More than one-quarter (26%) of the 29.3 million patients admitted through the ED in 2003 had heart or blood vessel diseases; 15% had respiratory diseases; 14% had digestive disorders; and 11% had injuries, according to the agency's Nationwide Inpatient Sample database.

Pneumonia led the top 20 specific conditions warranting hospitalization through the ED, with 935,000 admissions.

Other leading conditions included congestive heart failure, chest pain, hardening of the arteries, and heart attack.

More information is available at www.ahrq.gov.