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Hospital admissions for sleep disorders highest in young children

30,500 admissions in total for sleep disorders over 12 months, new figures show.

*HSCIC must be credited as the source of the figures in this release

**Regional information available from this report

Children of four and younger make up the largest age group admitted to hospital for sleep disorders, new figures from the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) show.

This group represented 13.3 per cent (4,000) of all admissions to hospitals for sleep disorders in England in the 12 months to August 2013.

The most common primary diagnosis for this and all age groups was sleep apnoea (interrupted breathing during sleep), recorded in 80.3 per cent (24,500) of admissions.

The most common procedures following admissions for sleep disorders were 'other diagnostic tests' (11,800 or 38.7 per cent), 'ventilation support' (5,700 or 18.7 per cent) and 'neurophysiological operations'5 (4,800 or 15.6 per cent). However, among children aged 0 to 14, close to half (46.5 per cent) of admissions resulted in the child's tonsils being removed.

The figures are from a special topic on sleep disorders presented as part of the monthly provisional Hospital Episode Statistics publication, which shows admissions data broken down by patient demographics, region, cause of admission and procedure. They also show that between September 2012 and August 2013:

  • There were 30,500 admissions for sleep disorders, a 3.6 per cent increase in admissions from the previous 12 months.
  • After children aged 0 to 4 (13.3 per cent), those in their late forties and fifties made up the three next largest groups admitted for sleep disorders, with 45 to 49-year-olds accounting for 9.8 per cent (3,000) and 50 to 54-year-olds for 10.4 per cent (3,200) and 55 to 59-year-olds 9.6 per cent (2,900) of admissions.
  • Almost two thirds (65.3 per cent or 20,000) of total admissions were for male patients who had higher admissions in all age groups except 15 to 24-year-olds.
  • The rate of admissions for sleep disorders among children aged 0 to 14 was double among the most deprived areas of England as among the least deprived7(an admission rate of 104.6 per 100,000 in the 10 per cent most deprived areas compared to 52.8 per 100,000 in the 10 per cent least deprived areas). The rates of admissions in those aged 15 and over shows no significant differences by deprivation.

Chair of the HSCIC, Kingsley Manning said: "We all know from our own experience the value of a good night's sleep and how rotten you can feel when you've missed out. This breakdown provides us with an insight into the statistics on the number of people are being hospitalised because of sleep problems, who they are and how their condition is being treated."

The report can be found at


Notes to editors

1. The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) was established on April 1 2013 as an Executive Non Departmental Public Body (ENDPB). The trusted source of authoritative data and information relating to health and care, HSCIC plays a fundamental role in driving better care, better services and better outcomes for patients. It supports the delivery of IT infrastructure, information systems and standards to ensure information flows efficiently and securely across the health and social care system to improve patient outcomes. Its work includes publishing more than 200 statistical publications annually; providing a range of specialist data services; managing informatics projects and programmes and developing and assuring national systems against appropriate contractual, clinical safety and information standards.

2. Today's press release focuses on a special topic which is part of a wider monthly publication of all NHS-commissioned provisional inpatient, outpatient and A&E activity in England. The publication includes provisional monthly data for April 2013 to August 2013 and final data from September 2012 to March 2013.

3. Numbers over 100 have been rounded to the nearest 10 and over 1,000 have been rounded to the nearest 100. Percentages have been rounded to one decimal place.

4. Hospital Episode Statistics (HES) are compiled from data sent by more than 300 NHS trusts and primary care trusts (PCTs) in England and from some independent sector organisations for activity commissioned by the English NHS. The HSCIC liaises closely with these organisations to encourage submission of complete and valid data and seeks to minimise inaccuracies. While this brings about improvement over time, some shortcomings remain. Figures refer to recorded cases and are reliant upon the accurate and complete recording of cause of hospital admission. HES figures are available from 1989-90 onwards. Changes to the figures over time need to be interpreted in the context of improvements in data quality, coverage of data recorded (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity and changes in NHS practice.

5. Clinical Neurophysiology is primarily an investigative specialty using computer, electrical, magnetic and electronic means to record the function of the brain, spinal cord, spinal roots, peripheral nerves and muscle to diagnose disorders of the nervous system.

6. Population estimates are for mid-2010 from the Office of National Statistics and are therefore not concurrent with the period presented in this publication. Rate per 100,000 has been calculated using the total population within the same category e.g. all persons aged 0-14 in London SHA. Rates have been directly age standardised in order to account for differences in the age demographic between regions.

7. The report uses the Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) as a measure of deprivation. The IMD ranks the relative deprivation of each area of England and the patient's residential postcode is then mapped to one of these areas, and summarised into 10 groups (deciles) for presentation. The analysis in this topic uses IMD 2010 data. See: for further details on the IMD.

8. For media enquiries or interview requests please contact the press office on 0845 257 6990 or

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