Hospital admissions for stress rise by seven per cent in 12 months

Hospitals in England dealt with 6,370 admissions for stress in the 12 months to May 2012; a seven per cent (410) rise on the previous 12 month period (5,960).

Admission rates were highest among working-aged people (aged 18 to 60), provisional figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.

Today’s report, which considers admissions only (and not cases dealt with solely in A&E) show stress admissions rose at a faster rate than admissions overall, which increased by about two per cent in the same period.

It also shows the North West had the highest admission rate for stress of any region, while the South West had the lowest.

The report covers two different conditions: stress (the feeling of being under too much emotional or mental pressure) and also anxiety (the feeling of mild or severe unease, such as worry or fear).

In contrast to stress; admissions for anxiety fell by almost three per cent (220) in the same time period, from 8,810 to 8,590 and admissions for this condition were highest among the elderly.

Provisional figures for the 12 months to May 2012 show:


  • Men accounted for slightly more admissions (54 per cent, or 3,450) than women. Admissions overall generally rose with increasing age until 50, when they declined steadily.
  • The North West Strategic Health Authority (SHA) had the highest admission rate of any of England’s 10 SHAs (20 per 100,000 of the population, or 1,390 admissions), while the South West SHA had the lowest (at under seven per 100,000; or 350).


  • Women accounted for nearly two thirds of all anxiety admissions (nearly 63 per cent, or 5,390); with admission rates higher for females than males across all age groups.
  • The North East Strategic Health Authority (SHA) had the highest admission rate of any of England’s 10 SHAs (just under 24 per 100,000 of the population, or 620), while South Central SHA had the lowest (at nearly 11 per 100,000; or 440).


HSCIC chief executive Tim Straughan said: “ It might be assumed that stress and anxiety are conditions that result in a journey to a GP consulting room rather than a hospital ward. However, our figures suggest thousands of cases a year arise where patients suffering from stress or anxiety become hospitalized in England.

“The report highlights a marked contrast between stress and anxiety admissions to hospital over the last two 12 month periods. On one hand, stress admissions have risen by seven per cent to 6,370; while on the other anxiety admissions have fallen by three per cent to 8,590. Despite this shift in balance however, many more cases of anxiety were admitted than for stress.

“There is also a clear difference in the likely age of a patient admitted for one of these conditions. While working-aged people account for the highest rate of admissions for stress, it appears hospital admissions resulting from anxiety are more amongst the elderly.”


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