This article seeks to establish the causes of hospitalizations among the elderly and identify the prevalence and associated factors. It is a cross-sectional study with 418 elderly users of SUS selected by multistage proportional sampling in the nine Sanitary Districts of Goiânia. Hospitalization was defined as a positive response to the question: "Were you hospitalized in the past year?" The independent variables were collected on a standardized questionnaire. Associations were explored through the prevalence ratio and the respective 95% CI. Multivariate analysis was conducted using hierarchical Poisson regression. The prevalence of hospitalizations was 24.4% and the major causes were circulatory (28.4%), respiratory (9.8%) and infectious and parasitic diseases (9.8%). In multivariate analysis, the following variables continued to be associated with hospitalizations: A/B economic class, reports of five or more diseases and weight loss. The results revealed a high prevalence of hospitalizations and that factors involved are mainly related to socioeconomic issues and health status, which demonstrates that it is necessary to monitor these cases in primary health care to prevent unnecessary hospitalization.
Hospitalization; Elderly; Unified Health System; Socioeconomic factors; Weight loss