Who Will Be Waiting for Me in the Ward? Changes in the Age and Sex Composition of Hospital Patients in Denmark, 2014–2050

Andreas Höhn , MPDIR Rostock and SDU Odense
Anna Oksuzyan, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Rune Lindahl-Jacobsen, Max Planck Odense Center on the Biodemography of Aging
Roland Rau, University of Rostock
Kaare Christensen, University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital

Population aging in high-income countries will change the demographic profile of individuals in need of health care. This study combines register data for the total Danish population with official population projections of the federal statistical office in Denmark to examine changes in the demographic composition of hospital patients in Denmark up to 2050, using the pattern observed in 2014 as a jump-off year. We found the annual number of hospital days to increase from 8.26 Million in 2014 to 10.91 Million in 2050. This trend will be predominantly driven by the population aged 70+. By 2050, men aged 70+ will be the largest group in Danish hospitals, accounting for 23.2% of all hospital days in 2050 (2014: 13.8%). The projected changes in the age and sex composition of hospital patients will require societal level responses as the preferences, needs and disease patterns of patients vary with age and sex.

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 Presented in Session 6. Health & Mortality & Aging