This report is the third in a series by the National Centre for Monitoring Vascular Diseases at the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. It describes hospitalisations in the Australian population that result from 3 chronic diseases, acting alone or together: cardiovascular disease (CVD) (including coronary heart disease (CHD), stroke and heart failure), diabetes and chronic kidney disease (CKD).

How many hospitalisations occur for CVD, diabetes and CKD?

  • In 2012-13, CVD, diabetes and CKD were associated with around 1.8 million hospitalisations, around 20% of all hospitalisations in Australia.
  • Over 1.2 million hospitalisations were associated with CVD, and around half had CVD as the principal diagnosis-12.8% of all hospitalisations in 2012-13. Coronary heart disease (CHD) accounted for 148,950 hospitalisations (28% of all cardiovascular disease hospitalisations), heart failure 57,450 (11%) and stroke 36,390 (7%).
  • Diabetes was recorded in around 840,000 hospitalisations- 8.9% of all hospitalisations in 2012-13. Of these, 738,300 (88%) were associated with type 2 diabetes, 52,900 (6.3%) with type 1 diabetes and 31,900 (3.8%) hospitalisations with gestational diabetes.
  • In 2012-13, there were 1.5 million hospitalisations associated with CKD. Regular dialysis (generally a day procedure where a person is discharged on the same or following day) accounted for the overwhelming majority-almost 1.3 million hospitalisations-and was the most common reason for hospitalisation in Australia.

What are the trends in hospital care?

  • Over the last 2 decades, there was a slight decline in the rate of hospitalisations due to CVD, falling from 2,324 in 1993-94 to 2,067 per 100,000 population in 2012-13. CHD hospitalisations declined at a greater rate, declining by around one-third, while a similar decline was also observed for stroke, a 36% decline.
  • Between 2002- 03 and 2012-13, the rate of hospitalisations for dialysis in Australia increased by 46% and increased by 17% for CKD hospitalisations (excluding dialysis).

Who is affected most?

  • CVD, CHD, stroke and diabetes hospitalisation rates as a principal diagnosis were higher among males than females (1.5, 2.3, 1.4 and 1.2 times as high, respectively). For CKD (excluding regular dialysis), male and female rates were similar.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people in the lowest socioeconomic group and those living in Remote and very remote areas have the highest rates of CVD, diabetes and CKD hospitalisations. Indigenous diabetes hospitalisation rates, for example, were 4 times those of Other Australians.

How many hospitalisations were associated with more than one of these diseases?

  • In 2012-13 in people aged 25 and over, there were 386,550 hospitalisations in which CVD, diabetes or CKD (excluding dialysis) was reported as a diagnosis in combination with at least 1 of the other diseases. Of these, 72% had 2 of the diseases and 28% had all 3.

• The most common combination of diseases was CVD and diabetes (170,440 hospitalisations) followed by CVD, diabetes and CKD (107,750 hospitalisations).