Revista de Saúde Pública
Print version ISSN 0034-8910
BENICIO, Maria Helena D'Aquino; MONTEIRO, Carlos Augusto; PINO ZUNIGA, Hilda Paulina and RIO, Evany Margazão Beringhs. A study of children's health in S.Paulo city (Brazil), 1984-1985: IV - Diarrhoea. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.1, pp. 23-28. ISSN 0034-8910. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89101987000100004.
As a part of a broad epidemiological survey of health conditions in children, the magnitude and distribution of diarroeal disease in S.Paulo city were evaluated. Data were obtained through clinical examination and household interview in a probabilistic sample of 1016 children under five years of age. The sample as a whole showed an incidence of 7.6 episodes of diarrhoea per 100 child-months and 2.0 hospitalizations per 100 child-years. The highest frequency of episodes occurs between two and three years of age, whilst those hospitalizations of diarrhoeal origin occur mostly during the first two years of life. Both episodes and hospitalizations were more frequent in lower socioeconomic strata. Relating these results with those obtained ten years before by another similar study, a 60% reduction in diarrhoea frequency was observed, as well as a displacent of the peak of maximum incidence towards a later age. These phenomena coincide with the considerable increase of water supply coverage now existing within the city. Significant reduction of both hospitalizations and mortality due to diarrhoeal disease were apparently detected as a consequence of diminished incidence of the disease in the population. However, the high frequency of diarrohoea and the high overall number of hospitalizations from this cause still existent in the city demonstrate the need for additional improvements in sanitation and reinforcement of such programs as the promotion of breast-feeding.
Keywords : Child health; Health surveys; Diarrhea, infantile [occurrence]; Socioeconomic factors.