Giving birth continues to be the most common reason for hospitalization across Canada, according to new data  from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI). There were more than 3 million hospitalizations in 2017–2018, and the top 5 causes for hospitalization remained consistent with those for the previous 3 years.

Top 5 reasons for hospitalization in Canada, 2017–2018

Reason for hospitalization Number of hospitalizations Percentage of hospitalizations Average acute length of stay
1. Giving birth 362,700 11.8 2.2
2. COPD and bronchitis 93,353 3.0 7.2
3. Acute myocardial infarction 71,192 2.3 4.9
4. Pneumonia 70,149 2.3 6.7
5. Heart failure 68,972 2.2 8.9

COPD: Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

“CIHI’s hospital data can be used to provide valuable insights to monitor hospital use, support health care management decision-making and ultimately improve patient outcomes.” — Greg Webster, Director, Acute and Ambulatory Care Information Services, CIHI

The top 5 inpatient surgeries in 2017–2018 remained consistent with those for the previous 4 years.

Top 5 inpatient surgeries in Canada, 2017–2018

Type of surgery Number of inpatient surgeries Percentage of inpatient surgeries Average acute length of stay
1. Caesarean section 104,349 7.0 3.0
2. Knee replacement 70,215 4.7 3.5
3. Hip replacement 58,333 3.9 5.9
4. Fracture repair 55,294 3.7 9.4
5. Coronary artery angioplasty 42,449 2.9 4.3

CIHI’s latest analysis of inpatient hospitalizations also includes information on

  • Hospitalization rates and average lengths of stay for the past 5 years; and
  • The number of newborns born in hospital over time and by province/territory.

About CIHI

CIHI is an independent, not-for-profit organization that provides essential information on Canada’s health systems and the health of Canadians. We provide comparable and actionable data and information that are used to accelerate improvements in health care, health system performance and population health across Canada. Our stakeholders use our broad range of health system databases, measurements and standards, together with our evidence-based reports and analyses, in their decision-making processes. We protect the privacy of Canadians by ensuring the confidentiality and integrity of the health care information we provide.

Media contact

Corinne Ton That