The latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)  shows that hospital admissions for lung cancer remained relatively stable between 1995 and 2006 at roughly 150,000 a year. This despite a steady decline in the number of Americans diagnosed with the disease.

Lung cancer patients are surviving longer and undergoing more hospital-related treatments such as chemotherapy and tumor-removal surgery, which has contributed to hospital admissions remaining constant.

The AHRQ’s analysis also found that:

• The average hospital cost for a lung cancer patient in 2006 was $14,200 (about $1,900 a day). The total cost for all patients was about $2.1 billion.

• The death rate of hospitalized lung cancer patients was 13% – (five times higher than the average overall death rate, 2.6%, for hospitalized patients.

• In 2006, only 2.4% of hospitalized lung cancer patients were younger than 44. About 63% were 65 or older.

The AHRQ News and Numbers is based on data from Hospital Stays for Lung Cancer, 2006.

The report uses statistics from the 2006 Nationwide Inpatient Sample, a database of hospital inpatient stays that is nationally representative of inpatient stays in all short-term, non-Federal hospitals. The data are drawn from hospitals that comprise 90% of all discharges in the U.S. and include all patients, regardless of insurance type, as well as the uninsured.