OBJECTIVE: To estimate the prevalence of hospitalizations and to identify characteristics associated with hospital admission. METHODS: We carried out a population-based cross-sectional study of subjects of both sexes, aged 20-69 years, and who lived in the urban area of Pelotas, Southern Brazil, between 1999 and 2000. Subjects were interviewed using a standardized, pre-coded questionnaire. Analysis was stratified by sex and confounder control was carried out using Poisson regression. Variables analyzed included socioeconomic and demographic characteristics, lifestyle, morbidities, and medical appointments in the last year. RESULTS: Of the 1,916 subjects interviewed, 146 (7.6%; 95%CI: 6.4;8.8) had been hospitalized in the year preceding the interview. Among men, characteristics associated with hospitalization included age above 50 years, schooling between five and seven years, history of smoking, minor psychiatric disorders, and medical appointments in the last year. For women, hospitalization was more frequent among subjects aged 60-69 years, with five to seven years of schooling, and who had had medical appointments within the last year. Women who consumed under 30g/day of alcohol were less likely to have been hospitalized. Prevalence of hospitalization for primary care-sensitive causes was 13.0% (95%CI: 7.6;18.5). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of hospitalization is similar in men and women. Schooling, but not income, was found to be associated with hospitalization.
Hospitalization; Risk Factors; Health Inequalities; Cross-Sectional Studies