Aortic Dissection

Department of Health written question – answered on 25th April 2017.

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Photo of Andrew Stephenson Andrew Stephenson Conservative, Pendle

To ask the Secretary of State for Health, how many cases of aortic dissection there were in England in each of the last 10 years.

Photo of David Mowat David Mowat The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health

Data is not held on the number of cases of aortic dissection. Data is however held on the number of National Health Service hospital attendances for patients with aortic dissection. This data only includes patients that have been admitted into hospital and the same person may have been admitted into a NHS hospital on more than one occasion.

The table contains a count of finished admission episodes with a primary diagnosis of aortic dissection for England within the financial years between 2006-07 and 2015-16.

A count of finished admission episodes (FAEs)1 with a primary diagnosis2 of Aortic dissection3, for England within the financial years between 2006-07 and 2015-164.

Activity in English NHS Hospitals and English NHS commissioned activity in the independent sector

Financial year






















Source: Hospital Episode Statistics (HES), NHS Digital


1. Finished admission episodes

A FAE is the first period of admitted patient care under one consultant within one healthcare provider. FAEs are counted against the year or month in which the admission episode finishes. Admissions do not represent the number of patients, as a person may have more than one admission within the period.

2. Primary diagnosis

The primary diagnosis is the first of up to 20 (14 from 2002-03 to 2006-07 and seven prior to 2002-03) diagnosis fields in the HES data set and provides the main reason why the patient was admitted to hospital.

3. Aortic Dissection

ICD-10 Clinical Coding Diagnosis:

I71.0 - Aortic Dissection

4. Assessing growth through time (Admitted patient care)

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 and coverage (particularly in earlier years), improvements in coverage of independent sector activity (particularly from 2006-07) and changes in NHS practice. For example, apparent reductions in activity may be due to a number of procedures which may now be undertaken in outpatient settings and so no longer include in admitted patient HES data. Conversely, apparent increases in activity may be due to improved recording of diagnosis or procedure information.

It should be noted that HES include activity ending in the year in question and run from April to March, for example 2012-13 includes activity ending between 1 April 2012 and 31 March 2013.

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