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Eur J Epidemiol. 2005;20(5):467-74.

Socioeconomic factors and risk of hospitalization with infectious diseases in 0- to 2-year-old Danish children.

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Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Aalborg University Hospital, Denmark.


Although the association between low socioeconomic status and illness in childhood is well known, the impact of socioeconomic factors on risk and frequency of hospitalizations for infectious diseases, the most frequent disease category, during the first 2 years of life has scarcely been studied. Through linkage of records drawn from public administrative and health registries, we conducted a population-based cohort study of 5024 Danish children born in 1997 to examine the frequency of hospitalization for infectious diseases in very young children. The main exposure variables, adjusted for potential confounding factors, were mother's education level, household income, and cohabitation status. The outcome was number of hospital admissions (0, 1-2, or 3+) for infectious diseases. A total of 737 children (14.7%) were admitted to hospital 1-2 times, and 83 (1.6%) were admitted 3-10 times. The risk of hospitalization was increased in children of mothers with a low level of education compared with vocational education (1-2 admissions: adjusted odds ratio (OR) 1.3 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 1.1-1.6). Children from low-income families had an increased risk of 3 or more admissions (low cf middle income: adjusted OR 2.0 [95% CI: 0.6-6.0]). Children of single mothers had an increased risk of hospitalization (1-2 admissions: adjusted OR 1.7 [95% CI: 1.1-2.6]. We found the highest risk of hospitalization for infectious diseases in children of mothers with only basic schooling, and particularly among those coming from single parent homes with a low income.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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