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Revista de Saúde Pública

On-line version ISSN 1518-8787Print version ISSN 0034-8910


MONTEIRO, Carlos Augusto  and  BENICIO, Maria Helena D'Aquino. A study of children's health in S. Paulo city (Brazil), 1984/1985: VI - Respiratory disease. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 1987, vol.21, n.5, pp.380-386. ISSN 1518-8787.

As part of a broad survey on the health status of children living in the City of São Paulo, a random sample of under-fives (n=1,016) was investigated in relation to rates and distribution of respiratory diseases. Based on medical histories and physical examinations carried out at home, the point prevalence of episodes of respiratory disease and the yearly incidence of hospitalizations due to those episodes were calculates. On the day of the examination, 29.0% of the children surveyed had signs and/or symptons of respiratory disease (high episodes, disease not passing the larynx, were three times more frequent than low episodes). The yearly incidence of hospitalizations due to respiratory diseases was 6.5 per 100 children; rates due exclusively to pneumonia and to respiratory disease with an obstructive component were, respectively, 3.5 and 2.8. In comparison with the existent literature, the rates found in the City of São Paulo were very high, equal to or even higher than those registered in very poor countries of the Third World. The age of the children proved to be an important determinant of respiratory disease, the youngest children being the group most affected. Strong influence of the socio-economic level was found in the case of hospitalizations due to pneumonia, but in relation to the other indicators of respiratory disease little or no influence was registered. This fact suggests that at least part of the very high frequency of respiratory disease in the City of São Paulo could be attributed to factors not directly related to the socio-economic conditions of the population.

Keywords : Child health; Respiratory tract diseases [occurrence]; Hospitalization; Age factors; Socio-economic factors.

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