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Med J Aust. 2010 May 17;192(10):586-90.

Hospitalisation of Indigenous children in the Northern Territory for lower respiratory illness in the first year of life.

Author information

  • 1Menzies School of Health Research, Charles Darwin University, Darwin, NT, Australia. k.ogrady@uq.edu.au

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To describe the epidemiology of acute lower respiratory infection (ALRI) and bronchiectasis in Northern Territory Indigenous infants hospitalised in the first year of life.

DESIGN:

A historical cohort study constructed from the NT Hospital Discharge Dataset and the NT Immunisation Register.

PARTICIPANTS AND SETTING:

All NT resident Indigenous infants, born 1 January 1999 to 31 December 2004, admitted to NT public hospitals and followed up to 12 months of age.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Incidence of ALRI and bronchiectasis (ICD-10-AM codes) and radiologically confirmed pneumonia (World Health Organization protocol).

RESULTS:

Data on 9295 infants, 8498 child-years of observation and 15 948 hospitalised episodes of care were analysed. ALRI incidence was 426.7 episodes per 1000 child-years (95% CI, 416.2-437.2). Incidence rates were two times higher (relative risk, 2.12; 95% CI, 1.98-2.27) for infants in Central Australia compared with those in the Top End. The median age at first admission for an ALRI was 4.6 months (interquartile range, 2.6-7.3). Bronchiolitis accounted for most of the disease burden, with a rate of 227 per 1000 child-years. The incidence of first diagnosis of bronchiectasis was 1.18 per 1000 child-years (95% CI, 0.60-2.16). One or more key comorbidities were present in 1445 of the 3227 (44.8%) episodes of care for ALRI.

CONCLUSIONS:

Rates of ALRI and bronchiectasis in NT Indigenous infants are excessive, with early onset, frequent repeat episodes, and a high prevalence of comorbidities. These high rates of disease demand urgent attention.

PMID:
20477735
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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