The Tides of March

March is National Kidney Month AND National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month.

This image depicts a female clinician using a stethoscope she’d placed upon a male patient’s back.

Data from the last National Hospital Discharge Survey shows there were 512,000 hospitalizations in 2010 for acute kidney failure (ICD-9-CM Code 584), and 143,000 for kidney infections (ICD-9-CM Code 590). Kidney stones (ICD-9-CM Code 592) brought 158,000 to the hospital. Kidney disease (nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis) was the eighth leading cause of death in the United States in 2010, with 50,476 deaths.

Cancer (malignant neoplasms) was the second leading cause of death in 2010, and there were 136,000 hospitalizations for colorectal cancer that year according to the last National Hospital Discharge Survey. Patients who had this cancer, but were hospitalized for another reason, are not included in this number. So the number could even be higher.

Since colonoscopies are performed as both outpatient and inpatient procedures, National Center for Health Statistics data on this colorectal cancer screening procedure is gleaned from a number of different surveys. In a hospital setting, colonoscopies were performed 444,000 times according to the 2010 National Hospital Discharge Survey. According to the National Health Interview Survey, 54.9 percent of adults, 50 to 75 years old, had colonoscopies in 2010.

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