Four types of health problems—respiratory diseases, digestive diseases, injuries, and endocrine, metabolic, and immunity diseases and disorders—accounted for 51 percent of hospital discharges among children aged 1-14 years in 2006. Since 1985, overall hospital discharge rates for children in this age group have declined by 38 percent, which is reflected in decreases in discharge rates for each of those three categories.
Between 1990 and 2006, hospital discharge rates for diseases of the respiratory system declined 26.4 percent for children aged 1-14 years (from 91 per 10,000 to a low of 67 per 10,000). During this period, the rate of discharges due to injury also declined, from 38 to 25 per 10,000, or 34.2 percent. Similarly, the hospital discharge rate among children for diseases of the digestive system dropped from 37 to 30 per 10,000, or 19.0 percent. The rate of discharges due to endocrine, metabolic, and immunity diseases and disorders, however, increased 36.8 percent, from 19 to 26 per 10,000. This category of diseases and conditions includes thyroid gland disorders, diabetes, nutritional deficiencies, and overweight and obesity.