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Contact: Joe Martin
717-232-6787 or


Harrisburg, PA – November 15, 2017 – According to a research brief released today by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council (PHC4), younger residents, those under age 45, saw an increase in hospitalization rates for diabetes. Residents in this age group were hospitalized for diabetes at the rate of 10.9 per 10,000 residents—a 38% increase since 2000 when the rate was 7.9. While the rate for residents aged 45 and older is still higher at 28.8, that group saw a 12% decrease from the 2000 rate of 32.6.

Statewide, there were 24,283 hospital admissions for diabetes in 2016—up from 21,528 in 2000. Patients under age 45 comprised 32% of the diabetes hospitalizations in 2016—up from 28% of the diabetes admissions in 2000. About 5% of the 2016 admissions (1,297 admissions) were for children under age 18.

“Releasing this brief in November—American Diabetes Month—helps raise awareness on how diabetes affects Pennsylvania residents and highlights, in particular, the burden it places on the health care system,” said Joe Martin, PHC4’s Executive Director. “Increases in hospital admission rates for younger age groups are especially concerning, given long-term complications that can accompany diabetes,” added Martin.

In 2016, hospital admissions for diabetes amounted to an estimated $205 million in hospital payments. Using metrics developed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), PHC4 found that about 86% of diabetes admissions for adults were potentially preventable; that is, timely diagnosis, effective primary care and appropriate disease management can potentially avoid the need for an expensive hospital stay.

The report notes that in the 17-year period from 2000 through 2016, hospital admissions for diabetes amounted to 401,441 hospitalizations and over 2 million hospital days. During that same 17 years, almost 40,000 Pennsylvania residents with diabetes underwent a lower extremity amputation.

The brief also examines population-based rates. Statewide, there were 19.0 hospital admissions for diabetes per 10,000 Pennsylvania residents in 2016. In general, population-based data showed higher rates of hospitalizations for diabetes among black and lower income residents:

  • For black (non-Hispanic) residents, the rate was 46.0 per 10,000. The rates for white (non-Hispanic) and Hispanic residents were 16.1 and 13.7, respectively.
  • For lower income residents of all races, the rate was 41.7 per 10,000.
  • The rate was 16.5 for females and 21.6 for males.

County-level population-based rates are also included in the brief.

The brief is available on PHC4’s website at You can also link to it through social media on Facebook and Twitter.

PHC4 is an independent state agency charged with collecting, analyzing and reporting information that can be used to improve the quality and restrain the cost of health care in Pennsylvania.

225 Market Street, Suite 400
Harrisburg, PA 17101

Phone: (717) 232-6787
Fax: (717) 232-3821