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Acta Paediatr. 2002;91(3):335-8.

Socioeconomic environmental factors and hospitalization for acute bronchiolitis during infancy.

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Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital, Malmö, Sweden.


Bronchiolitis is a major cause of hospitalization during infancy. The aim of this study was to evaluate the influence of socioeconomic factors on the hospitalization of infants with bronchiolitis. All infants below 1 y of age living in the city of Malmö, Sweden, and hospitalized at the University Hospital. Malmö, owing to bronchiolitis during the years 1998 and 1999 were identified. The bronchiolitis hospitalization rates (BHRs) were determined for the infants living in each of the 10 different administrative residential areas of Malmö and correlated with socioeconomic factors (percentage of immigrants, per capita income, unemployment rate and households receiving social benefit) in the respective residential areas. The severity of the disease on admission and during hospital care was assessed by comparing oxygen saturation, days with supplemental oxygen and length of stay. BHR varied more than fourfold between the 10 residential areas. BHR varied significantly with per capita income and the percentage of immigrants. Infants living in the area with the highest social burden were hospitalized almost twice as often as those from the rest of the city, but the severity of disease was similar.


The association between socioeconomic factors and hospitalization indicates that these factors may have a significant influence on the hospitalization rate in bronchiolitis during infancy.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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