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High use of acute care hospital services at age 50 or older.

Health Rep; 28(9): 3-16, 2017 Sep 20.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28930363


A small fraction of the population accounts for a disproportionate share of health care spending and resources. Linking data from health surveys with hospital and death records offers an opportunity to examine high use of acute care in more depth than is possible with administrative data alone.


Data for 62,675 respondents to three cycles of the Canadian Community Health Survey were linked to the Discharge Abstract Database and the Canadian Mortality Database. Respondents were categorized according to cumulative annual days in hospital: high users (30 days or more), non-high users (1 to 29), or not hospitalized. Cross-tabulations stratified by age (50 to 74 and 75 or older) were used to describe the socio-demographic, health, health behaviour, and hospital experience characteristics of the three groups. Multinomial logit and logistic regression were used to examine associations between these characteristics and high use or no hospitalization versus non-high use.


High users made up 0.5% of the population aged 50 to 74 and 2.6% of those aged 75 or older, but they accounted for 45.6% and 56.1%, respectively, of the days that people of these ages spent in hospital. Not having a partner, being at the end of life, having a neurological condition, as well as inactivity and comorbidity (ages 50 to 74) increased the odds of high use. Being female, not having major chronic conditions, not being at the end of life, normal/overweight, and being active were associated with no hospitalization.INTERPRETATION: Linking survey, hospital, and death data improves understanding of factors associated with high hospital use.