Hospital, doctor visits expanded to 1.2 billion in 2005, study finds

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A growing number of aging Americans accounted for a 20% increase in hospital and doctor visits in the past five years, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Hospital and doctor visits rose to 1.2 billion in 2005, according to a survey by the CDC. The survey covered 352 hospitals and about 1,200 physicians in 2005.

The study also found that antidepressants were the most commonly prescribed medications. High blood pressure drugs were next, followed by arthritis or headache drugs.

The CDC report is available at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/ad/ad388.pdf.