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Eur J Pediatr. 2009 Apr;168(4):465-8. doi: 10.1007/s00431-008-0772-4. Epub 2008 Jun 26.

Changes in infectious disease mortality among children in the Netherlands.

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Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, University Medical Centre Utrecht, Wilhelmina Children's Hospital, Room KG.01.319.0, P.O. Box 85090, 3508 AB, Utrecht, The Netherlands.


In this study we examine the changes in mortality due to infectious diseases in childhood over recent decades. We analysed mortality data among children due to infectious diseases from 1969 until 2006. This study shows a steep decline of infectious disease mortality in the 1970s, followed by a relative stabilisation thereafter. This was caused by an isolated decline in infectious disease mortality in children younger than 5 years. In children over 5 years of age the infectious disease mortality remained stable during the entire study period. Analysis of mortality data of our paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) shows an increasing trend in mortality due to infections in children with underlying illnesses. Infections in childhood have remained a stable burden of mortality over recent decades.

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