Hospital admissions for sleep disorders highest in young children

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Hospital admissions for sleep disorders highest in young children

30,500 admissions in total for sleep disorders over 12 months

Children of four and younger make up the largest age group admitted to hospital for sleep disorders, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.

This group represented 13.3 per cent (4,000) of all admissions to hospitals for sleep disorders in England in the 12 months to August 2013.

The most common primary diagnosis for this and all age groups was sleep apnoea (interrupted breathing during sleep), recorded in 80.3 per cent (24,500) of admissions.

The most common procedures following admissions for sleep disorders were ‘other diagnostic tests’ (11,800 or 38.7 per cent), ‘ventilation support’ (5,700 or 18.7 per cent) and ‘neurophysiological operations’5(4,800 or 15.6 per cent). However, among children aged 0 to 14, close to half (46.5 per cent) of admissions resulted in the child’s tonsils being removed.

The figures are from a special topic on sleep disorders presented as part of the monthly provisional Hospital Episode Statistics publication, which shows admissions data broken down by patient demographics, region, cause of admission and procedure. They also show that between September 2012 and August 2013:

  • There were 30,500 admissions for sleep disorders, a 3.6 per cent increase in admissions from the previous 12 months.
  • After children aged 0 to 4 (13.3 per cent), those in their late forties and fifties made up the three next largest groups admitted for sleep disorders, with 45 to 49-year-olds accounting for 9.8 per cent (3,000) and 50 to 54-year-olds for 10.4 per cent (3,200) and 55 to 59-year-olds 9.6 per cent (2,900) of admissions.
  • Almost two thirds (65.3 per cent or 20,000) of total admissions were for male patients who had higher admissions in all age groups except 15 to 24-year-olds.
  • The rate of admissions for sleep disorders among children aged 0 to 14 was double among the most deprived areas of England  as among the least deprived7(an admission rate of 104.6 per 100,000 in the 10 per cent most deprived areas compared to 52.8 per 100,000 in the 10 per cent least  deprived areas). The rates of admissions in those aged 15 and over shows no significant differences by deprivation.

Chair of the HSCIC, Kingsley Manning said: “We all know from our own experience the value of a good night’s sleep and how rotten you can feel when you’ve missed out. This breakdown provides us with an insight into the statistics on the number of people are being hospitalised because of sleep problems, who they are and how their condition is being treated.”

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