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Revista de Saúde Pública

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


OLIVEIRA, Edilson Almeida de et al. Factors associated to medicine use among children from the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort (Brazil). Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2012, vol.46, n.3, pp.487-496. ISSN 1518-8787.

OBJECTIVE: To identify factors associated to medicine use among children from the 2004 Pelotas Birth Cohort, Brazil. METHODS: Prospective study to evaluate medicine use in children aged 3, 12 and 24 months regardless of the reasons, therapeutic indication or class. The study included 3,985 children followed up at three months of age, 3,907 at 12 months, and 3,868 at the last follow-up time of 24 months. Mothers were interviewed to collect information on medicine use during the recall period of 15 days prior to the interview. The outcome was studied according to sociodemographic and perinatal variables, mother's perception of child's health and breastfeeding status. Crude and adjusted analyses were performed by Poisson regression following a hierarchical model. RESULTS: The prevalence of medicine use ranged from 55% to 65% in the three follow-ups. After controlling for confounders, some variables remained associated to medicine use only at the three-month follow-up with greatest use among children of younger mothers, those children who had intrapartum complications, low birthweight, were never breastfed and were admitted to a hospital. Greatest medicine use was also associated with being a firstborn child at 3 and 12 months; mother's perception of their child health as fair or poor and children whose mothers have private health insurance at 12 and 24 months; highest maternal education level at all follow-up times. CONCLUSIONS: Different variables influence medicine use among children during the first two years of life and they change as the child ages especially maternal factors and those associated to the child's health problems.

Keywords : Infant; Child; Drug Utilization; Risk Factors; Maternal and Child Health; Cohort Studies.

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