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Rev Saude Publica. 2002 Jun;36(3):285-91.

[Factors associated to hospitalization of children under five years of age, São Paulo, Brazil].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Departamento de Pediatria, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, Natal, RN, Brasil.



In developing countries acute respiratory infection (ARI) is the leading cause of hospitalization among children under five years of age. Their underprivileged life conditions and restricted access to health care services are important determining factors. The objective of the study was to assess hospital morbidity and to identify factors associated to hospitalization of children under five years of age.


A data set derived from a cross-sectional study on health conditions of children under five years of age in the city of Embu, a county located in the metropolitan region of São Paulo, Brazil, was used. The inclusion criteria were one child per family (random selection). The exclusion criteria were missing data on any study variable. The sample size was 893 children. Data was collected using household interviews with mother or caretaker. Statistical analysis was performed using logistic regression models to identify factors associated with hospitalization.


Sixty-five (7.7%) children were hospitalized. Of them, 41.5% were admitted with a respiratory tract disease, mainly due to an ARI (27.7 %). Factors associated to hospitalization included: low birth weight; perinatal problems; chronic illness; death of a sibling under the age of five; grandmother as day caretaker; living in overcrowded places, and mother's higher educational level.

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