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Increasing hospitalizations for serious skin infections in New Zealand children, 1990–2007

  • C. E. O'SULLIVAN (a1), M. G. BAKER (a1) and J. ZHANG (a1)

Summary

The incidence of serious skin infections in New Zealand children is significantly higher than in comparative countries. This study aimed to describe the epidemiology of these infections and identify changes in disease distribution over time. Discharge data were analysed for all children admitted to a New Zealand public hospital with a serious skin infection during the period 1990–2007. Patient and admission variables were compared between 1990–1999 and 2000–2007. The incidence of serious skin infections almost doubled from 298·0/100 000 in 1990 to 547·3/100 000 in 2007. The highest rates were observed in boys, preschool-aged children, Māori and Pacific children, those living in deprived neighbourhoods, urban areas and northern regions. Over time there were disproportionate increases in infection rates in Māori and Pacific children and children from highly deprived areas. Serious skin infections are an increasing problem for New Zealand children. Worsening ethnic and socioeconomic health inequalities may be contributing to increasing rates.

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Copyright

Corresponding author

*Author for correspondence: Associate Professor M. G. Baker, Department of Public Health, University of Otago, Wellington, PO Box 7343, Wellington South, New Zealand. (Email: michael.baker@otago.ac.nz).

References

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